Office: CMC 208K
Don Bellante is Professor of Economics at the University of South Florida where he teaches courses in The Global Economic Environment of Business, Labor Economics, the Economics of Organization and the History of Economic Thought. He holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University. His research interests include Labor Market Analysis, Comparative Labor Market Institutions, Migration and Immigration. His research has been published in a variety of journals including the American Economic Review, the Industrial and Labor Relations Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Labor Research, the International Journal of Manpower, the Journal of Financial Research, and the Journal of Human Resources. He serves or has served on several Editorial Boards including the Southern Economic Journal, the Journal of Labor Research, and the Review of Austrian Economics. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the James Madison Institute and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
My approach to teaching follows from my approach to economic analysis. The purpose of economic analysis is to make understandable a real world that is too complex to be understood without simplification, generalization, theorizing or whatever else we choose to call use of the deductive method in Economics. It is an irony of science that the if we are to understand important aspects of the real world (of Physics, Economics or anything else), we must abstract from other aspects of the real world that, if accurately described in detail, would prevent us from understanding the phenomena we are interested in. This is no more or less than what a road map does. A road map is a serious abstraction from reality (it is flat, it leaves out trees, and the roads are wider than the cities, etc.). Yet the purpose of these abstractions from reality is to make understandable to the inexperienced traveler how to get from Tampa to Chicago, for example. Economic analysis is a figurative road map to the real world of human behavior. My most obvious objective in teaching is to provide that road map. My approach to teaching is guided by several pedagogical convictions:
1) Student learning is most readily accomplished if I gradually proceed from the simplest conceivable model to the more realistic (but more complex) one step at a time.
2) In a course that is loaded with content, very little of that content will be remembered by students two or more years after the course. On the other hand, since all of Economics is built on a structure consisting of only a few axiomatic ideas, stressing those ideas has a real chance of developing in the student a grasp of the economic approach to problem solution that will be useful for life.
3) Economic facts are, by themselves, uninteresting and in short time obsolete. Economic processes, when understood, provide a framework for a continuing analysis of an ever-changing world.
4) Knowledge about the present is of little value unless anchored in the context of the past. In practical terms this belief leads me to emphasize change over time in everything that I teach--I try to put everything in historical perspective.
Professor Bellante's current research is in the economic adjustment of immigrants to the U.S. and the determinants of citizenship attainment by immigrants.