Area of Study
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Betsy Jensen is co-author of Industrial Organization: Theory and Practice, a leading textbook developed in part from her experiences teaching at Hamilton since 1983. Having earned a doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, her research interests include economics education, predictors of college academic success, professional standards at liberal arts colleges, and student course choice. Jensen has been recognized as the Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Professor and received the Class of 1962 Outstanding Teaching Award. She has chaired the Economics Department, Faculty Committee on Budget and Finance, and Writing Advisory Committee, in addition to serving on numerous other College committees.

Recent Courses Taught

Microeconomic Theory
Economic Analysis of American History
Industrial Organization Theory and Applications

Research Interests

Industrial organization
Professional standards at liberal arts colleges
Predictors of college success
Student course choice
Pedagogy in economics
Economics education


  • Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Professorship, 2011-14
  • Faculty collaborator, Hamilton College Levitt Center Fellowship, summer 2009, 2012
  • The Class of 1962 Outstanding Teaching Award, 2002
  • Faculty collaborator, Hamilton College Emerson Grant, summer 2000
  • Hamilton College Margaret Bundy Scott Fellowship, 1987-88
  • Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1982
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, (for three years), 1978
  • Graduated with high honors from Swarthmore College, 1978
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1978

Selected Publications

  • “Early Decision and College Performance” (with Stephen Wu), Economics of Education Review (August 2010). 29: 5, pp. 517-525.
  • "Social Learning and Course Choice" (with Ann L. Owen), International Review of Economics Education (2008), 7:1, pp. 9-35.
  • Industrial Organization: Theory and Practice (with Don E. Waldman) Addison-Wesley, 4th edition 2013, 3rd edition 2007, 2nd edition 2001, 1st edition 1998.
  • "Using Arbitration to Eliminate Class Actions: Efficient Business Practice or Unconscionable Abuse?" (with Jean R. Sternlight), Law and Contemporary Problems (Winter/Spring 2004), pp. 75-103.
  • "Appealing to Good Students in Introductory Economics," (with Ann L. Owen), Journal of Economic Education, (Fall 2003), pp. 299–325.
  • “Teaching Undergraduate Industrial Organization,” in International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, Gail M. Hoyt and KimMarie McGoldrick, eds. (Edward Elgar, 2012).
  • “Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets,” in 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook, Rhona C. Free, ed. (SAGE Publications, 2010), pp. 125-134.
  • "Gender and Interest in Studying Economics," (with Ann L. Owen) in Critical Junctures in Women's Economic Lives, Center for Economic Progress, 2002.
  • "Pedagogy, Gender, and Interest in Economics," (with Ann L. Owen), Journal of Economic Education, (fall 2001), pp. 323-343.
  • "Why are Women Such Reluctant Economists? Evidence From Liberal Arts Colleges," (with Ann L. Owen), American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, May 2000), pp. 466-470.
  • "Research Expenditures and the Discovery of New Drugs," Journal of Industrial Economics, (Sept. 1987), pp. 83 95.

Professional Affiliations

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • American Economic Association
  • Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession
  • Industrial Organization Society
  • AAUP

Educational Background

Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
B.A., Swarthmore College

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