World’s Best B-School Professors: Ronald Wilcox

Marketing professor extraordinaire, Darden’s Ronald Wilcox is one of the world’s best business school profs

Ronald Wilcox
Darden School of Business

Claim to Fame: Marketing financial services

Age: 43

Washington University, PhD
Washington University, MS
Xavier University, AB

At Darden Since: 2001

Before Darden: Faculty at Carnegie Mellon University and an economist for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Fun Fact: My book, Whatever Happened to Thrift? Why Americans Don’t Save and What to Do About It, was among Kiplinger’s top five business books in 2008.

If I wasn’t teaching, my dream job would be: I would run my own business

Best part of the job: Talking with students about what they want to do and who they want to be after they leave Darden.

Worst part of the job: Grading papers. Mindless. Numb. Bored. Self-Flagellation. Get me out of here!

With research that focuses on the marketing of financial services and its interface with public policy and the economy, Darden’s Ronald Wilcox is a marketing professor with the flare of a top economist. His academic studies center on financial services fee structures, advertising of such services, and the profits that are generated in the financial services sector through the use of marketing. The result is a host of award winning research articles that reflect the influence of marketing in an industry dominated by numbers and dollar signs.

Wilcox also uses his research to help improve the U.S. economy. He focuses his attention on helping consumers save using his research to examine the behaviors of investors and consumers. In 2008, his book “Whatever Happened to Thrift? Why Americans Don’t Save and What to Do About It,” was one of Kiplinger’s top five business books of the year.

In addition to his consulting for top companies, this professor is a frequent contributor to influential business publications. One of his most widely read articles came in 2008 when Wilcox, a conservative, openly backed Barack Obama for president.

Three years later, Wilcox says, “I still like Obama. I think he turned out to be about what I predicted; more of a centrist than people expected. From his writing and public speaking, he was pretty clearly a fan of the philosopher and theologian Reinhold Niebur, and the thought that he could at once find Niebur’s work intellectually attractive and still be far to the left in his ideas made no sense to me. He was and is a hopeful pragmatist.”

At Darden where he teaches “Marketing Intelligence” and “Investor Behavior and Imperfect Markets,” Professor Wilcox also serves as the marketing area head.