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About the Major

Economics students at Hamilton investigate a wide range of social and economic issues. Students might find themselves exploring the economic legacy of redlining, seeking evidence about the presence and impact of discrimination, evaluating the effects of an increase in the minimum wage, or assessing the effectiveness of policy aimed at improving the environment. In the process, economics concentrators develop strong data analysis skills and learn how to make arguments with quantitative evidence. Some students work with faculty as teaching or research assistants and a few have published collaborative work in professional journals. Economics is a STEM concentration at Hamilton.

Students Will Learn To:

  • Design a research plan to address an economic question
  • Competently implement a research plan
  • Communicate findings from the research plan

A Sampling of Courses

World map with charts and graphs as symbols of global finance

The Economics of Technology and Innovation

An examination of the nature and implications of innovation and technological change. We will investigate the history and economic theory of innovation and technological progress, related policy debates, and future prospects. Particular attention to the implications of recent developments in information technology and robotics for labor markets and the distribution of economic wellbeing.

Explore these select courses:

An introduction to how economists develop and test theory, with a special emphasis on theory explaining the causes and consequences of inequality. The basic concepts of probability and statistics are taught in addition to theories of the labor market, inflation/unemployment tradeoffs, impact of fiscal and monetary policy, externalities, public goods, and international trade. Department (Fall), Department (Spring).

Examines differences in economic outcomes by race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or other personal characteristic. Topics include 1) identification of discrimination in different markets including (but not limited to) the labor, education, and credit/housing market, and 2) evaluation of the effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing discrimination. This course places a special emphasis on developing professional presentation and discussion skills, teaching students to discuss controversial topics in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

An analysis of the economics of health and medical care, with particular emphasis on the provision of health care in the United States. Topics include the structure of public and private health insurance programs, financing the rising costs of medical care and the impact of health status on labor supply and retirement decisions. Relates these issues to current public policy debates surrounding the health care profession.

An examination of issues in environmental policy from the perspective of economic theory. Topics include the measurement of benefits and costs of curtailing pollution and preserving ecosystems, the design of public policies to improve environmental quality, and the examination of past and current environmental programs in the United States and their success. Also considers sustainable growth and issues of environmental equity.

A study of individual level investment decisions and the equilibrium determination of asset prices. Mean-variance analysis motivated by the tradeoff between risk and return. An introduction to asset pricing models, including the CAPM and multi-factor models. An introduction to derivatives, including stock options, futures and swaps. Discussions of the Efficient Markets Hypothesis, arbitrage, and contributions from behavioral finance. Other topics may include: fixed income pricing, Arrow-Debreu securities and the completeness of markets, and the binomial asset pricing model.

Meet Our Faculty

Ann Owen

Chair, Professor of Economics and the Henry Platt Bristol Professor of Public Policy

long-run growth, inequality, and sustainability

Mo Alloush

Assistant Professor of Economics

development, urban, and behavioral economics; applied econometrics

Erol Balkan

Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Economics

formation of middle classes in developing countries; effects of short-term capital flows on the Turkish economy and economic development; international finance and political economy of the Middle East

Eliane Barker

Assistant Professor of Economics

industrial organization, health economics, economics of non-profits, applied econometrics

international economic development and labor economics

Cody Couture

Assistant Professor of Economics

macroeconomics, monetary economics, macro-finance

Jeffrey Cross

Assistant Professor of Economics

environmental, energy, and behavioral economics; applied econometrics

Christophre Georges

Elias W. Leavenworth Professor of Economics


economics of poverty, immigration and immigrant policy

Derek Jones

Professor of Economics

employee participation and human resource management practices, including employee ownership; insider econometrics, cooperatives, transition economies and Internet economics

Jeffrey Pliskin

Associate Professor of Economics

profit sharing and flexible workplace practices and their effects on firm performance; prior information and biased estimation methods

Evelyn Skoy

Assistant Professor of Economics

Economics of education, marriage/family economics, and labor economics

Stephen Wu

Irma M. and Robert D. Morris Professor of Economics

health and health care, higher education, economics of happiness

Wei Zhan

Assistant Professor of Economics

Stephen Owen

Senior Lecturer in Economics

corporate financial management and financial reporting

Explore Hamilton Stories

Alan Zhao '23

Zhao ’23 Testing Theory About Rent Control Programs in Levitt Project

Many economists agree: like any form of price control, rent control programs are a bad idea. But Alan Zhao ’23 is not like most economists.

olivia davis '23

Davis ’23 “Spends Every Day Learning” as Goldman Sachs Intern

Olivia Davis ’23 is an asset management operations summer analyst at Goldman Sachs. As she unravels financial information, she learns the nuances of fixed income insurance and bilateral products.

Two stacks of books that illustrates the economics book moving to the STEM pile.

Economics Reclassification as STEM Concentration to Benefit International Students

Beginning with the Class of 2023, Hamilton students who graduate with a concentration in economics will be classified as STEM majors, a move that will enhance the college experience and post-graduate opportunities for international students.

Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who concentrated in economics are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Senior Vice President, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Reynolds
  • Physician, Orlando Heart Center
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Williams College
  • 1st Lt., U.S. Marine Corps
  • English Teaching Assistant, U.S. Fulbright Program
  • 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


Department Name

Economics Department

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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