Josephine E. Olson
Professor of Business Administration



Josephine (Jo) Olson teaches courses in managerial economics and international economics, and has conducted study trips to Europe and Latin America. She is an associate of the Center for Latin American Studies, the European Studies Center, the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Asian Studies Center, and the Global Studies Program. From 2006 to 2014 she was Director of the International Business Center. She was secretary of the University Senate from 2002 to 2005. She previously served as director of MBA Programs and Associate Dean. Prior to coming to the University of Pittsburgh, she was on the faculty of Bernard M. Baruch College, City University of New York.

Jo’s research interests include topics in international economics and a study of career paths and income determinants of MBAs.

Jo has been a member of the District Export Council of Western Pennsylvania since 2008. Earlier she served for 12 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA). In the fall of 1991 she was a Fulbright Fellow at the International Management Center in Budapest, Hungary. She was visiting professor of economics at the Czechoslovak Management Center in winter 1992. In 1993-94 she was a visiting professor at Nyenrode University in the Netherlands and in 1994-95 she was academic dean and interim CEO of the Czech Management Center. She has consulted with public and private agencies with regard to public policy toward transportation and utility rate-setting and international economics. She has also done some educational consulting.

Courses Recently Taught

  • Managerial Economics (Undergraduate)
  • International Economics for Managers (Undergraduate)
  • Economics for International Business (MBA)
  • Economic Analysis (MBA and EMBA)
  • Plus3 Freshmen Study Trips to the Czech Republic, Chile, and France (Undergraduate)
  • Global Research Practicum Trips to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico (MBA)


  • PhD in Economics, Brown University
  • AB in Economics, Wellesley College

Recent Publications

Kristjanpoller, W & J. Olson, J.E. (2021) “The effect of market returns and volatility on investment choices in Chile’s defined contribution retirement plan,” Journal of International Money and Finance, 112

Banerjee, H.  & Olson, J.E. (2020). “What learning tools do students prefer?  An assessment of undergraduate business courses, Journal of Education for Business (published online September 14, 2020)

Saldivia, M., Kristjanpoller, W. & Olson, J.E. (2020). “Energy consumption and GDP revisited: A new panel data approach with wavelet decomposition,” Applied Energy, 272

Kristjanpoller, W., Olson, J.E. & Salazar, R.I. (2016). “Does the commodities boom support the export-led growth hypothesis? Evidence from Latin American countries,” Latin American Economic Review, 25(6), 1-13

Kristjanpoller, W. & Olson, J.E. (2015). “Choice of retirement funds in Chile: Are Chilean women more risk averse than men?” Sex Roles, 72: 50-67.

Kristjanpoller, W. & Olson, J.E. (2014). “The effect of financial knowledge and demographic variables on passive and active investment in Chile’s pension plan,” Journal of Pension Economics and Finance (published online 23 June 2014).

Olson, J.E., Lin, M.K., Brady, L.M. & Huber, G.A. (2014). “An academic medical center’s expansion abroad: A case study of UPMC’s joint projects in Italy and Ireland,” Pittsburgh European Union Papers, 3(1), 1-25.

Kristjanpoller, W. & Olson, J.E. (2014). “Economic growth in Latin American countries: Is it based on export-led or import-led growth?” Emerging Markets, Finance and Trade, 50, Supplement 1, 5-21.

Li, M., Olson, J.E. & Frieze, I.H. (2013). “Students’ study abroad plans: the influence of psychological factors,” Frontiers—Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 23, 73-89.

Olson, J. E. (2013). “Human capital models and the gender pay gap,” Sex Roles, 68, 186-197.

Olson, J.E. & Lalley, K. (2012). “Evaluating a short-term, first-year study-abroad program for business and engineering undergraduates: Understanding the student learning experience,” Journal of Education for Business, 87, 325-332.

Frieze, I.H., Olson, J.E. & Murrell, A.J. (2011). “Predictors of Late Retirement for Women and Men MBAs,” Journal of Women and Aging, 23, 40-57.

Academic Area

Marketing and Business Economics