Donald R. Stabile

Professor of the College of Economics

Donald R. Stabile


Don Stabile has been a faculty member at St. Mary’s since 1980. During his years at St. Mary’s, he has taught a wide array of courses in economics. He has served two terms as chair of the economics department and two terms as associate provost. He is the author of ten books, co-author of two books, author of 18 articles in scholarly journals and author of over 100 book reviews. He was recipient of the Norton Dodge Award for Creative and Scholarly Achievement in 2003 and was named an Honorary Alumnus of St. Mary’s in 2004. In 2005 he received an appointment as Professor of the College.

Areas of Research Specialization

  • History of Economic Thought

Areas of Teaching Specialization

  • Behavioral Economics
  • Markets versus Morals


  • B.S. in Economics at University of Florida, 1966
  • M.A. in Economics at University of Massachusetts/Amherst, 1972
  • Ph.D. in Economics at University of Massachusetts/Amherst, 1979


  • The Living Wage

    For the last decade a movement for providing workers with a living wage has been growing in the US. This book describes how great thinkers in the history of economic thought viewed the living wage and highlights how the ideas of the early economists such as Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill support the idea of a living wage and contrast with the ideas of more recent free-market economists who do not. The lessons we can learn from the contrasting ideas of both the early and recent economists will help us to think more clearly about the issues surrounding whether, how and why workers should be paid a living wage. The book reviews the history of economic ideas related to the idea of the living wage. It presents a debate between two ideologies, the moral economy and the market economy, as captured by the need to sustain the workforce, enhance its capability and avoid the externality effects of low wages. It is unique in that it applies these concepts exclusively to labor. The book also breaks new ground by presenting Adam Smith as a moral economist who anticipated many of the arguments set forth by modern day advocates of the living wage. It shows how successive economic thinkers added to Smith’s arguments for a living (subsistence) wage or found fault with those arguments. Throughout the book Donald Stabile draws out the lessons that this history of the economic thought about adequate wages has for the modern living wage movement.