Roger Betancourt

Professor Emeritus

Professor Roger R. Betancourt received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1970. He joined the Faculty at Maryland in 1969 and became Emeritus in 2007.

Among his main accomplishments at Maryland he would highlight Ph. D. dissertation advising. He is the first recipient in the Economics Department of the Mentorship Award from the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences for this activity. His former students have raised funds to endow a Fellowship in Applied Economics recognizing this activity. The first Fellowship was awarded during the 2010-2011 academic year.

While Professor Betancourt no longer has any standard teaching or administrative duties at Maryland, he continues engaged in research on a regular basis as well as advising on a selective one. Throughout his career Professor Betancourt has been interested in the use of economics to understand real world problems. This orientation led him to become a frequent visitor engaged in teaching and research at business schools in the US and elsewhere, which he continues to do: INSEAD (Fountainebleau, France) in the 1980's and early 1990's; the Kermit O. Hanson Visiting Chair at the University of Washington Graduate School of Business in 1996; Departamento de Gestion de Empresas, Universidad Publica de Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) from 1997 to the present; Bozzone Visiting Scholar at The Lally School of Management and Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, 2008; Affiliate Faculty in the Marketing Department of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at Maryland from 2004-2010; Keynote Speaker at the IV Scientific Meeting of the Ramon Areces Commercial Distribution Chair at the University of Oviedo (Asturias, Spain), 2012; Inaugural Lecturer at the Doctoral Colloquium of AEMARK Annual Meetings (Pamplona, Spain), 2015.

In terms of public service contributions Professor Betancourt would highlight one item. His role as one of the founders of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy in 1990. The latter is described in "The Origins of ASCE", which is available in the development section of the personal website. This association quickly became and still remains an important forum in the United States for well informed discussions of the Cuban economy broadly defined. He was its first President (1990-1992) and remains a frequent participant in the intellectual activities of the association, especially its annual meetings. The paper and proceedings of the latter are available at An illustration of his approach to the study of the Cuban economy is available in "A Novel Perspective on Cuba's Reforms" Cuban Affairs Vol. 10, No 1, April 2015. This article can be downloaded from the development section of the personal website.

With respect to research activities Professor Betancourt's major contributions lie in three substantive areas. 1) Production. A brief introduction to the topic underlying his main long term contributions in this area is available in "Capital Utilization" [entry in S. Durlauf and L. Blume (eds.)The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition, The Macmillan Press, 2008]. It can be downloaded from the production section of the personal website. 2) Retailing and distribution. A book that encompasses many of his contributions on this subject is the reference work The Economics of Retailing and Distribution, Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd., 2004 [paperback edition (2006), Chinese translation by Renmin University Press (2009)].  A review paper updating these contributions and including  the impact of Internet technology and modern contract forms such as relational contracts is "Distribution Services, Technological Change and the Evolution of Retailing in the Twenty-First Century", Ch. 4 in E. Basker (editor) Handbook on the Economics of Retailing and Distribution, Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd., 2016. It can be downloaded from the distribution section of the personal website. 3) Institutions and development. An illustration of contributions in this area is "Unbundling Democracy: Political Rights and Civil Liberties"(with A. BenYishay), Journal of Comparative Economics, August 2014. It can be downloaded from the development section of the personal website.

Currently, Professor Betancourt is involved in several research projects that cover a variety of topics in the last two substantive areas. For additional information on these topics, please consult the CV or the personal website.

Areas of Interest:
  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Economic Development
  • Retailing and Distribution
  • Institutions
Personal Website:
Former Students
  • see teaching section of personal website for a complete list
  • Roger Betancourt
3133 Tydings Hall
Department of Economics
Phone: (301) 405-3479