Why economics at Eckerd?

Students majoring in economics develop an understanding of economic theory and have the chance to apply it to practical and real life situations. You will study economic issues of personal interest and our program helps you become comfortable with the tools and analytical techniques necessary to become contributors in the business, professional and civic communities.

The economics major is a flexible program that offers you a solid foundation in economics and the ability to pursue a variety of related interests. Our students have used this combination to build unique educational experiences, preparing themselves for work and graduate school.

Unique experiences for Economics students

Special courses and dynamic learning

The economics program has a number of courses that don’t generally show up in an undergraduate curriculum as well as traditional courses handled in non-traditional ways.

In Leadership, the Human Side of Economics, students take a humanistic look at economic behavior and motivation. They also receive feedback on their own leadership styles, based on such instruments as the Kirton Adaption/Innovation Inventory, Meyers Briggs, Thomas Kilman Conflict Resolution Scale and Strong Interest Inventory. The class is characterized by many small group activities, helping students understand themselves as social and economic beings.

Environmental Economics offers students an intensive skill building experience – performing a cost-benefit analysis to assess a policy or project. ┬áStudents conceive a major project and execute it over the semester. They come away from the course with a powerful tool for evaluating environmental and social policy actions.

In Intermediate Macroeconomics, in addition to studying macroeconomic theory and policies, students gain skills researching the economics literature, performing statistical regression analyses to test macroeconomic relationships, and writing papers interpreting regression results. They thus gain experience in applying a fundamental analytical technique in economic research.

International Economics is split into two courses: Foreign Exchange andTrade. Along with studying international economic theory and analysis, each course devotes several weeks to negotiations, where students grapple with goals, competing interests, and alternative policies. Students role play as G5 finance ministers; US, IMF, and Mexico (reschedule debt repayments); Euro countries (Euro Zone crisis); and G20 countries (international monetary reform) in Foreign Exchange; and in Trade: as U.S. workers, businesses & consumers (U.S. trade policy); and US, Europe, China, Mexico, Brazil, India & Africa (Doha II WTO talks). These negotiations offer an encounter with a multidimensional real-world context where students apply the economic theory and analysis they are studying.

Ford Apprentice Scholar Program

Eckerd College is a high per capita producer of students who pursue graduate studies. The Ford Apprentice Program is aimed at encouraging students to consider careers in higher education. It involves a close working relationship between a faculty member and student in which the student produces a significant research project. Typical projects sponsored by Economics faculty include:

  • Professor Peter Hammerschmidt and Andrew Jennings, “The Impact of Personality and Psychological Traits on Leadership Effectiveness Ratings”
  • Professor Diana Fuguitt and Zachary Liggett,”A Two Level Analysis of US-Japan Automotive Sector Trade Negotiations”
  • Professor Tom Oberhofer and Loren Moody, “Stock Market Prediction and the Empirical Modeling Process”
  • Professor Diana Fuguitt and Julia Welch, “Comparing Tampa Bay and Charleston’s Permitting Criteria: The Policy Implications of Using a Demand or Needs Criterion for Coastal Development”
  • Professor Linda Lucas and Jennifer Rudicil, “Common Property Rights and the New Feminist Paradigm”
  • Professor Peter Hammerschmidt and Brita Osmundsvaag, “The Impact of Management and Leadership Skill Ratings, Personal Characteristics, and Occupational Factors on Female and Male Compensation, or Computing the Wage Gap”
  • Professor Diana Fuguitt and Ryan Jarrett, “The Impact of the US Financial Crisis and Global Recession on Developing Countries: Four Case Studies”

Senior theses

While most seniors do a senior comprehensive research project, some seniors undertake a more extensive thesis, generally earning two course credits. Theses often grow out of the Ford projects (see above) but need not be limited in this regard. Typical theses include:

  • Lars Olson, “The Economic Impact of Air Pollution in Tampa Bay: A Property Value Study”
  • Ed Berman, “Thorstein Veblen: Analysis and Appraisal”
  • Michelle Smith, “The Economic Impact of Airport Noise Pollution on the Sarasota-Bradenton Area”
  • Jason Palmateer, “Urban Influences on Major League Baseball Revenue”
  • Sam Wilkin, “Monetary Approach to Exchange Rate Determination: Long Run Confirmation and a New Short-run Model for the U.S., Japan and Germany”

International Education

Eckerd offers numerous opportunities to study abroad during Winter Term. In recent years, Professor Peter Hammerschmidt has led students in Leadership & Team Building expeditions to Antartica, Aconcagua, and Kilimanjaro during the month of January. Also, Eckerd offers international programs at our Study Centers in London, China, and Latin America and via exchanges (including International Student Exchange Programs) around the world. Eckerd also has collaborative programs in Madrid, Freiburg, Kansai Gaidai near Osaka and Nanzan University in Nagoya. Economics students have studied in England, Japan, Columbia, Costa Rica, and throughout Europe.