Jim Barbour

Associate Professor of Economics and Chair of the Economics Department
Koury Business Center 124
2075 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
barbour@elon.edu (336) 278-5945

Brief Biography

Dr Barbour has been at Elon since arriving in the fall of 1990, coming from the position of Dean of the Division of Administration and Computer Science at LSU Alexandria.  Currently he is in his second stint as Department Chair, the first being from 1990-1998.


BBA Management, University of Kentucky, 1977

MA, Economics, University of Kentucky, 1978

PhD, Economics, University of Kentucky, 1987

Employment History

Faculty, Transylvania University, 1980-87

Dean, Division of Administration and Economics, LSU-Alexandria, 1987-1990

Faculty, Elon University, 1990- present



Schneider’s ‘Singede Steine’. La lectura musical de la iconografía en el claustro de Sant Cugat del Vallés.
por James L. Barbour

¿De dónde procedían los maestros masones? ¿A donde iban? ¿Es posible seguir su recorrido analizando las características de su iconografía? ¿Qué consecuencias socioeconímicas conllevaba para la zona la contratación de un maestro?
A través del análisis de la obra de Arnau, con especial referencia a los potenciales contenidos musicales de su iconografía, el profesor Barbour nos describe las consecuencias de los hallazgos de Schneider en la decada de los 40 del siglo pasado.
El presente artículo es una reedición actualizada por el autor de lo publicado por primera vez en la Elon University.

In the mid 1940"s, while walking in the cloister of the monastery at Ripoll in Catalonia, ethnomusicologist Marius Schneider noted that the carvings of the column capitals seemed familiar. On inspection of these and the ones at Sant Cugat del Valles he realized that they were the creatures comprising an Indian musical notation. On further study he realized that they "sang" the hymn of the patron saint of the region, St. Cucufate. He further extended his findings to include the Cathedral at Girona as well as the monasteries at Ripoll and Sant Cugat del Valles. While this is a fascinating notion, that a 12th century carver was "writing" music in the stones of cloisters in the region, it has a practical implication for economic history as well. Given that carvers must be familiar with the stone of a region, and that their skills were generally more locally than widely known, it is unlikely that more than one workshop was undertaking this particular style. By this signature skill, carving Indian musical notation, it is possible to trace the path of the work of this particular workshop, and its master carver.

Paper available through Circulo Romanico: http://www.circuloromanico.com/index.php?menu_id=5&jera_id=1862&page_id=1467&cont_id=4547


Crafters and competition: the impact of amateurs (With Thomas Tiemann)

This paper proposes an explanation for why professionals in some crafts are able to make a living fairly easily, while those in other crafts find it extremely difficult.

Like others who work in a post-modern environment, crafters face a particular set of constraints on their work. We found that the structure of the particular crafts, and the conduct that the various structures imply, go a long way toward explaining why some crafts are more favorable to working professionals than others.

This study is a continuation of a larger body of work examining how post-modern markets vary across industries and how they are occasionally replacing the traditional market structures in the USA. This study points to another examining particular crafts to further focus our understanding of how these markets are operating.


American crafts shows: price or style conscious?
(with Thomas Tiemann) published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy Volume: 26 Issue: 7/8 Page: 342 - 352

This paper aims to provide a classification for the process by which crafters find appropriate consumers in the post-modern market structure that exists between black or gray markets where illegal or illegally obtained goods are sold, and the markets that serve the Fordist, mass-production, mass-distribution portion of an economy.

Findings – The institutions that have evolved to support market segregation/segmentation in crafts markets are interesting and are better understood within a classification system like the one developed here. How these institutions differ from the street-market culture of Europe lends an insight into this uniquely American post-modern market system.
Research limitations/implications – This study is the beginning of a larger body of work that should be undertaken to better comprehend how the increasing post-modern market structure is interacting with and occasionally replacing, the traditional market structures in the USA.

As the post-modern market structure becomes more prevalent in the USA understanding how it is similar to and differs from, the comparable market structures in Europe is important to policy decisions on the local level, particularly with respect to local support of this type of market.

Personal Information

I never know quite what to put in these personal pages, and I expect that says more about me than anything else I might list.

I am married (43 years), have two grown sons and live in an 1899 farm-house on 32-some acres of combined open land, forest, tree-farm and homes in north-west Alamance county.

Heraldic Staff



Outside the academy my interests (beyond land management and landlord duties) run to the outdoors and to a wood-shop/studio where I work (play) as both a turner and as a furniture/cabinet maker. Some time back I turned a set of Hearaldic Staves for the faculty marshalls use in formal academic processions.


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