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Jonathan Leightner

Augusta University, USA

 J. Leightner’s father started his own company manufacturing custom-made transformers for everything between satellite communications, refrigerator trucks, airplane seats, and space craft. As a teenager, Jonathan performed the environmental tests for transformers for the first manned flight to the moon. Those transformers are still on the moon having been in the equipment left behind by Neil Armstrong. While working on his Master’s degree in Philosophy at Baylor University, Jonathan and his new wife, Sandra, travelled to Thailand to teach conversational English to Northern Thai students. In Thailand, Jonathan saw lepers begging on street corners, a dead bloated body float down the Mekong River, and people in slums living on one dollar a day. He decided to study what can be done to help countries such as Thailand. Thus, Jonathan earned a Ph.D. in economic development (with a secondary field in comparative economic systems) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989. After finishing his Ph.D. Jonathan took job teaching economics at the college that became Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia, where the Masters Golf Tournament is held. He has also taught for four months at Seikei University in Tokyo, Japan and for two years for Johns Hopkins University in Nanjing, China. Jonathan has written four books (three of which have been published) and 48 peer reviewed journal articles or book chapters. His publications fall into four groups: (1) empirical estimates of the effectiveness of government policies, (2) a solution to the omitted variables problem of regression analysis, (3) Asian economics, and (4) the relationship between economics and ethics/religion.