Business and Economics

  • Photo of Jennifer VanGilder

Jennifer VanGilder

Jennifer VanGilder is an Associate Professor in the Business and Economics Department at Ursinus College. An active scholar, Dr. VanGilder’s research focuses on facial symmetry and skin tone discrimination and has appeared in numerous journals including Economic Letters, International Journal of Sport Finance, and the Journal of Sports Economics. This research received national attention in numerous media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Inside the NFL, and was featured during an episode of NFL Films Presents. Her previous research includes topics such as gender differences in perceptions of female faculty in postsecondary education, functional impairments and choice of college major, and the role of childhood sexual victimization in the occupational choice of adults. Before joining Ursinus College, she was chair and Associate Professor of Applied Economics at California State University Bakersfield. Her passion, however, lies in teaching in a liberal arts setting, which is what drew her to Ursinus.


Business and Economics


  • B.S., B.A., Bethany College
  • M.A., Economics, Binghamton University
  • Ph.D., Economics, Binghamton University


Global Economics
Managerial Economics
Race and Gender in the American Economy
Environmental Economics
Labor Economics
Business Statistics

Research Interests

  • Facial symmetry and skin tone discrimination
  • Post Secondary Education Perceptions and Discrimination

Recent Work

“Is the Sports Media Color-Blind” (with David Berri and Aju Fenn), International Journal of Sports Finance, v9 issue 2, (2014)

“What does it mean to find the Face of the Franchise? Physical Attractiveness and the Evaluation of Athletic Performance” (with David Berri, Rob Simmons, and Lisle O’Neill) , Economics Letters, v 111, pp 200-202, (2011)

“Defense Wins Championships?” The Answer from the Gridiron (with David Berri, John Robst, and Coby Vance), International Journal of Sport Finance, v6, pp 72-82 (2011)

“Skin Tone and Wages: Evidence from NBA Free Agents” ( with David Berri, John Robst and Corrine Coates) Journal of Sports Economics, v12 n2, pp. 143-156, (2011)

“The Role of Childhood Sexual Victimization in the Occupational Choice of Adults” (with John Robst) Applied Economics Volume 43 (2011), Number 3, pp. 341-354.