Business and Economics

Dr. Olga Nicoara
Dr. Olga Nicoara

Olga Nicoara

Olga Nicoara joined the Business and Economics department at Urisnus College in the Fall of 2016. Dr. Nicoara received her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Economics, from George Mason University, in Fairfax, VA. Before coming to Ursinus, Dr. Nicoara taught at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where she was a visiting assistant professor.

Growing up, Dr. Nicoara experienced living in three former communist countries: Moldova (country of birth), Russia, and Romania. She uses relevant examples and stories from her life to illustrate economic ideas and to provide students with a first-hand comparative perspective. Her native languages are Russian and Romanian, and (fun fact) French was the first foreign language she learned in school. 

Dr. Nicoara’s scholarship is in the fields of development economics, comparative systems, cultural economics, and Austrian economics. She wrote on the lessons learned from the collapse of communism and the transition in Eastern and Central Europe, on the role of culture in promoting peaceful social change in Estonia, and on the role of remittances in alleviating poverty in the world. 

At Ursinus, Dr. Nicoara teaches courses in macroeconomics, development economics, senior seminar in economics, common intellectual experience, and a new summer Study Abroad course in ‘Economies in Transition’ with travel to four formerly communist countries in Eastern and Central Europe: Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania. She is also co-directing the Economic Ambassadors program.


Business and Economics


  • Ph.D., Economics, George Mason University
  • M.A., Economics, George Mason University
  • B.Sc., International Business and Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies


  • Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON 102)
  • Development Economics (ECON 263)
  • Senior Seminar in Economics (ECON 403W)
  • Economies in Transition (ECON 223, a specialty Summer Study Abroad course with travel to Europe)
  • Research Methods in Economics (ECON 200W)
  • Global Economic Issues (ECON 120, designed for non-econ majors)
  • Common Intellectual Experience (CIE, first-year course)

Research Interests

Development Economics, Post-Communist Countries, Culture and Social Change, Market Process Theory, Entrepreneurship and Migration, Remittances, Economics Pedagogy

Recent Work

Nicoara, Olga, and Economopoulos, Andrew. 2021. “The World as a Living Economics Classroom: Lessons from ‘Economies in Transition’: a Faculty-Led Study Abroad Course in Central and Eastern Europe.” In Off-Campus Study, Study Abroad, and Study Away in Economics. Leaving the Blackboard Behind, edited by Joshua Hall and Kim Holder. Springer International Publishing; 1st ed. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-73831-0

Nicoara, Olga. 2020. “The Comparative Liberty-Dignity Context of Innovative Immigrant Entrepreneurship.” In Entrepreneurship and the Market Process, edited by Arielle John and Diana Thomas. Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed.

Nicoara, Olga, and Burns, Scott A. 2019. “Remittances and FDI As Privately Provided International Aid.” In Lessons on Foreign Aid and Economic Development: Micro and Macro Perspectives, edited by Nabamita Dutta and Claudia R. Williamson, 245–73. Palgrave Macmillan.

Nicoara, Olga. 2018. “Cultural Leadership and Entrepreneurship As Antecedents of Estonia’s Singing Revolution and Post-Communist Success.” Baltic Journal of European Studies 8 (2): 65–91.

Nicoara, Olga, and Boettke, Peter J. 2015. “What Have We Learned from the Collapse of Communism?” Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics. doi: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199811762.013.29


Years of Service to Ursinus

2016 - Present