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Economic students learn to identify economic issues and problems, to form hypotheses and to gather and use data to test the hypotheses. They also learn to formulate policies to deal with economic problems and analyze both the intended and unintended effects of these policies. Students frequently work as a research assistant with a faculty member and have collaborative work published in a professional journal.

About the Major

Do you want to engage in discussions about health care, financial markets or Social Security reform? Or perhaps you'd like to investigate why working women earn a fraction of what men earn, the effectiveness of policies aimed at improving the environment or even the impact of our economy's growing globalization. As an economic student at Hamilton, you will develop a coherent framework to answer questions like these.

Only a week before the application deadline, I came across Hamilton and it just seemed like the perfect fit for me; I fell in love with Hamilton's emphasis on writing and speaking, the freedom that the open curriculum offered, and Hamilton's Outdoor Leadership Center. I did not hesitate to apply as an early decision applicant a couple days later.

Hady Hewidy ’17 — economics and world politics major

Economics majors are required to complete five mandatory courses and four electives within the department. Majors need to take calculus before they take certain intermediate-level courses but do not need to have taken any economics in high school. An economics minor must complete four required courses and one additional economics course of her or his choice.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Senior Vice President, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Reynolds
  • Physician, Orlando Heart Center
  • 1st Lt., U.S. Marine Corps
  • Vice Chairman, General Electric
  • Director of International Programs, Michigan State University
  • Associate Director, CBS News
  • Psychiatrist, Buffalo Veteran’s Hospital
  • Senior Policy Analyst, Council of State Governments Justice Center
  • Director, Deutsche Bank Securities
  • Professor, Strategy & Entrepreneurship, Wake Forest University

Contact Information


Economics Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315 859-4450 315-859-4477 economics@hamilton.edu Economics Website

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Issues in Microeconomics 101FS


The price system as a mechanism for determining which goods will be produced and which inputs employed; profit-maximizing behavior of firms under differing competitive conditions; pricing of factors of production and income distribution; taxation, discriminatory pricing and government regulation; theory of comparative advantage applied to international trade. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.

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Accounting 230FS


Study of the fundamental principles underlying financial accounting. Strong emphasis on understanding and analysis of companies' annual reports and the four basic financial statements included therein: balance sheet, income statement, statement of changes in stockholders' equity and statement of cash flows. Does not count toward the concentration or minor. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors only. Not open to students who have taken 330. Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning. Oral Presentations.

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Policy, Poverty and Practice 235S


Investigates policies to alleviate poverty, with a focus on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Topics include: poverty, income inequality and inequality of opportunity; tax policy; and incentives created by policies aimed at alleviating poverty. The class has a significant service learning component in which students complete IRS training and assist low-income families in Utica in filling out Federal tax forms to claim the EITC.

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Introduction to Behavioral Economics 339F


Rather than assume that people, firms, or leaders are always purely rational, behavioral economics relaxes this assumption and analyzes situations where rationality does not always hold. The field integrates research across disciplines, drawing from neuroscience, behavioral and developmental psychology, and economics. As such it allows economists to study why people choose outcomes that seem to violate traditionally held views of rationality and why markets actually behave as they do. It allows economists to better understand how individuals, groups, and firms respond to policies.

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Economics of Social Responsibility 348F


This course explores how ethical values and social norms influence economic behavior by individuals and groups. Topics include altruism, civic engagement and contributions to public goods, the philanthropic sector, socially responsible investment, corporate responsibility, and social entrepreneurship.

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Economic Growth 506F


Why are some countries so rich while others are so poor? Examines the difference in living standards both across and within countries, using both theoretical and empirical methods. Topics include the effects of income distribution, technology, population growth, international trade, government policy and culture on the level and growth of living standards. Prerequisites 265,275, 285 or consent of instructor. This course is intended for those fulfilling the senior project requirement. Not open to students who have 445.

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