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.

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

Emily Conover

Chair, Professor of Economics


international economic development and labor economics

Mo Alloush

Assistant Professor of Economics


development, urban, and behavioral economics; applied econometrics

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

Cody Couture

Assistant Professor of Economics


macroeconomics, monetary economics, macro-finance

Jeffrey Cross

Assistant Professor of Economics


environmental, energy, and behavioral economics; applied econometrics

Kara Dimitruk

Assistant Professor of Economics


Economic history, political economy, law and economics

Christophre Georges

Associate Chair, Elias W. Leavenworth Professor of Economics



Paul Hagstrom

Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Economics


economics of poverty, immigration and immigrant policy

Promise Kamanga

Assistant Professor of Economics


International trade and development economics

Ann Owen

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


long-run growth, inequality, and sustainability

Fiorella Pizzolon

Assistant Professor of Economics


Macroeconomics, monetary and fiscal policy, and international 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


behavioral and experimental economics

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

Explore Hamilton Stories

2024 Bristol Winners - Annie Kennedy and Luis Felipe López Cruz

2024 Bristol Fellows to Explore Orchid Culture, the Potential of Trash

Ann “Annie” Kennedy ’24, an economics and chemistry double concentrator, and Luis Felipe López Cruz ’24 received Hamilton’s prestigious Bristol Fellowship. The program is designed to “encourage discovery of self and the world, a greater appreciation and understanding of people and culture, and to enable individuals to act on great ideas through independent study projects.”

Professor Erol Balkan with Syrian children at a refugee camp in Turkey.

‘Being a Refugee is Not a Choice’

Professor of Economics Erol Balkan introduces “Displaced and Dispossessed,” a collection of photographs he has taken of Syrian refugees at their camps in Turkey.

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. They’re complicated concepts to understand — and even more complicated to manage — but she appreciates the challenge.


Department Name

Economics Department

Contact Name

Emily Conover, Chair

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

Help us provide an accessible education, offer innovative resources and programs, and foster intellectual exploration.

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