James DeNicco

Dr. James DeNicco, Ph.D. is the Director of the Principles of Economics Program and a Senior Lecturer at Rice University. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Drexel University in 2013, where his primary concentration was in Macroeconomics and secondary in Industrial Organization.

Dr. DeNicco currently teaches Principles of Economics to over 600 Rice students annually as well as in various master’s programs. He has earned various awards for teaching including the 2016 Malcolm Gillis Award for Distinction in Undergraduate Teaching in Economics, the 2018 Sarah A. Burnett Teaching Prize in the Social Sciences, the 2018 Nicholas Salgo Distinguished Teaching Award voted on by current Juniors and Seniors, the 2021 George R. Brown Prize for Excellence in Teaching voted on by Alumni 2, 3 and 5 years after graduation and considered the University’s highest teaching award, the 2022 George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching considered the University’s second highest teaching award, the 2024 George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching, and a Favorite Professor at the Scholar Athlete Celebration many times. He is also a Faculty Associate at Baker College, which is one of Rice University’s eleven social colleges, where he was named the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Associate and was given the 2017 Garside Award for Service.

Dr. DeNicco’s primary research interests are in Macroeconomics and applied Macroeconomics, especially the relationship between GDP growth and labor dynamics. His peer reviewed publications include “Employment-At-Will Exceptions and Jobless Recovery” in the Journal of Macroeconomics, “Jobless Recovery: A Time Series Look at the United States” in the Atlantic Economic Journal, and “Factors of one-year college retention in a public state college system” in the Research and Higher Education Journal. He published his own textbook, “A Story of Economics: A Principles Tale” in 2023 with the Kendall Hunt publishing company. He was the instructor for a Coursera Specialization released in the Fall 2023 titled “A Story of Economics: A Principles Tale” and for a Kaplan Precollege course title “The Business of Economics” released in the Spring of 2024.


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