Josephine E. Olson

  • Professor of Business Administration
  • Katz Excellence in Service Fellow


Josephine (Jo) Olson teaches courses in managerial economics and international economics, and has conducted study trips to Europe and South America. She is an associate of the Center for Latin American Studies, the European Union Center, the Center for Russian and East European Studies, the Asian Studies Center, and the Global Studies Program. From 2006 to 2014 she was Director of the International Business Center, and she now serves on its Advisory Board. She was secretary of the University Senate from 2002 to 2005. From 1979 to 1983 she was director of MBA Programs and from 1996 to 2001 she served as 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 currently serves on the District Export Council of Western Pennsylvania and the Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council. From 1974 to 1986, she was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA). In the fall of 1991 she was a Fulbright Fellow lecturing at the International Management Center in Budapest, Hungary. She was visiting professor of economics at the Czechoslovak Management Center near Prague 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 (Executive MBA)
  • Plus3 Freshmen Study Trips to the Czech Republic, Chile, and France (Undergraduate)
  • Global Research Practicum Trips to Chile and Brazil (MBA)


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

Recent Publications

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.

Olson, J.E., Frieze, I.H. et al. (2007). "Beliefs in Equality for Women and Men as Related to Economic Factors in Central and Eastern Europe and the United States," Sex Roles, 56, 297-308.

Olson, J.E., Frieze, I.H. (2007). "Transition from Communism," George Ritzer (Ed.), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, X(ST-Z), 5047-5050.

Olson, J.E, Frieze, I.H. et al. (2006). "Economic Influences on Ideals about Future Jobs in Young Adults in Formerly Socialist Countries and the United States", Cross Cultural Research, 40, 352-376.

Frieze, I.H., Olson, J.E., Murrell, A. J. & Selvan, M.S. (2006). "Work Values and their Effects on Work Behavior and Work Outcomes in Female and Male Managers", Sex Roles, 54, 83-93.

Olson, J.E. (2005). "Top-25-Business-School Professors Rate Journals in Operations Management and Related Fields," Interfaces, 35, 323-338.

Center Affiliation

International Business

CV File

Academic Area

Marketing and Business Economics