Leopoldo Rodriguez


Associate Professor

OFFICE HOURS CONTACT INSTRUCTIONS

Office hours will be via Zoom. Email Dr. Rodriguez to make an appointment for office hours.

BACKGROUND

I grew up in two major cities in Latin America: Buenos Aires and Mexico City. The social contrasts and economic problems I witnessed growing up led me to seek solutions in the field of economics when seeking a B.A. at the University of Texas-Austin. Heterodox approaches to economics made a strong impression on me, particularly in their relevance to conditions present in developing countries. Seeking to step from theory into policy led me to a Master in Public Affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, only to rediscover the call of theory and my desire for an academic job, resulting in a PhD in Economics, once again from UT-Austin.

INTERESTS

My research interests are broad and interdisciplinary. I have worked on labor markets, migration, financial crises, the political economy of market reforms, rural development and the Cyprus conflict. Currently I have a strong interest in sustainability, particularly in relation to rural environments and agriculture. In addition to work on rural development in a small community in NW Argentina, I have studied the environmental and social impacts of the expansion in the use of GMO seeds, particularly RR soybeans, in the country. More recently, I have focused on the barriers and motivations faced by farmers in Argentina to adopt agroecological methods of production. I am particularly interested in how and why horticulturalists, primarily Bolivian immigrants to the country, make a transition to agroecology. Another recent strand of my research has been on Argentine politics, particularly the relation between political scandals, corruption allegations and the judicial system.

I am a gregarious person who enjoys teaching and have high expectations from my students. My background in economics gives my courses a marked orientation; something that at times represents an unexpected challenge to students. I am passionate about what I teach and hope to get students fired up about the things that excite me. I do not claim objectivity, but attempt to present several sides to any one issue, leaving it up to my students to decide where they stand after weighting the evidence.

I have ample teaching experience, starting at the University of Texas-Austin, followed by Austin Community College, Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus and, since 2001, Portland State University. I have led study abroad courses in Rosario and San Pedro de Colalao, Argentina, as well as in Oviedo, Spain. 

COURSES TAUGHT:

  • INTL 201 Introduction to International Studies
  • INTL 240  Introduction to Latin American Studies
  • INTL 341  Environment and Development in Latin America
  • INTL 390  Foundations of Global Studies
  • INTL 397  Theory and Policy in International Development
  • INTL 407  Seminar 
  • INTL 490  Global Sustainable Development 
Education
  • Ph.D. in Economics
    University of Texas at Austin
  • B.A. in Economics
    University of Texas at Austin
  • M. Public Affairs
    University of Texas at Austin