Economics Anti-Racism Statement

The Department of Economics is committed to creating learning environments that are inclusive, anti-racist, and supportive of open inquiry and debate. We are deeply concerned about student experiences regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in our major. While we have been working hard to listen, innovate, and improve, we know there is much to be done.
We have written an Open Letter to students on Anti-Racism and plan to host meetings in the fall semester to listen to students and discuss this ongoing work. We look forward to being in conversation with you this Fall!

Introducing the Economics Resource Center

February 2024

The economics department has a newly updated resource center located in our computer lab in Converse 311. Econ major Eliza Williams 26 has been curating and updating materials on graduate programs, internships and other educational programs. We invite you to browse (in the seating area behind the computers) for available opportunities. You can also take a look at the bulletin board in the hallway outside the offices of Profs Sims, Kingston and Ishii for additional options you may be interested in pursuing.

S24 ECON 111 Course Sections

Available ECON 111 Sections for Spring 2024

ECON 111-01

LEC TTh 11:30-12:50PM

Prof Debnam Guzman


DIS F 10-10:50AM



ECON 111-01F


ECON 111-02

LEC TTh 1-2:20PM

Prof Honig

DIS Fri 11-11:50AM



ECON 111-02F



ECON 111-03

LEC MW 8:30-9:50AM

Prof Kingston

DIS F 9-9:50AM

DIS F 10-10:50AM

ECON 111-03F

ECON 111-04F

ECON 111-04

LEC MW 12:30-1:50PM

Prof Barbezat

DIS F 11-11:50AMECON 111-05F
ECON 111E-01

LEC TTh 10-11:20AM

Prof. Sims

DIS F 9-9:50AMECON 111E-01F


S24 New Economics Courses

ECON 276
Well-Being and Economic Thought
Prof. Barbezat
MW 2:30-3:50

“Economics” is often defined as the study of the allocation of scarce resources. But what do we want to achieve from this allocation? We seem to want some idea of well-being – either for ourselves, certain groups or for a society at large. Economics is essentially the study of how we and the societies around us provide opportunities (sometimes only for selected groups…) to attain and sustain well-being given the constraints faced. This course analyzes the idea of economic “well-being” (utility) and examines the different ways in which the history of economic thought has conceived of well-being from antiquity to the present day, in part to study how these conceptions of well-being have affected economic analysis. We will examine the long history of this question with an emphasis on the contemporary period, looking carefully at neoclassical thought and its “heterodox” critics. Requisite: ECON 111/111E or its equivalent. Limited to 30 students. 

ECON 429 
Geospatial Analysis in Development Economics
Prof. Gebresilasse
MW 2:30-3:50

In this course, we will explore key development topics with a focus on research papers that use geospatial analysis to answer fundamental questions related to economic development. Geospatial analysis has been applied in economic research to examine an array of factors that shape economic development including roads, internet access, trade links, institutions, slavery, climate change, and inequality. We will carefully read a selection of journal articles that employ geospatial analysis, paying close attention both to the important economic insights as well as the econometric and geospatial methodologies employed in the articles. The course will begin with an introduction of the main types of datasets, tools and techniques employed in geospatial analysis using R programming language. In addition to carefully studying and discussing selected research papers that apply geospatial analysis, students will also replicate some of the analyses presented in these papers. Overall, the course aims to familiarize students with the application of geospatial analysis in cutting-edge economic research and enable them to develop an original research project that makes use of the tools and techniques explored in the course. Requisite: ECON 300/301 and ECON 360/361. Limited to 15 students. 

S24 STATA TA Hours

Onupurba Das, Economics PhD candidate in the Department of Resource Economics at University of Massachusetts will continue hosting weekly STATA office hours this semester in the economics computer lab (Converse 311): 
  • Mondays 4-7 pm
  • Tuesdays 4-7 pm
  • Thursdays: 4-8 pm

How to Declare an Economics Major

There are several steps you must complete to declare a major in economics: 

  1. Have an email or other documentation from your current academic advisor approving your economics major declaration.
  2. Submit an "Intent to Declare Economics" Google form.
  3. Log on to Workday to select "Add Program of Study." 

Please note the following:

  • If you would like a particular member of the economics faculty to be your advisor you must contact them and discuss being added to their roster. Only with faculty approval can you be added to a requested professors roster, otherwise you will be assigned a department advisor.
  • You must complete the three steps listed above or your declaration cannot be processed.
  • You will be notified when your declaration has been completed and your new advisor assigned.

Ariana Rodriguez 24 in The Amherst Student

October 2023

Economics and Education Studies major Ariana Rodriguez is featured in this week's Amherst Student feature Thoughts on Theses. Ariana traveled home to El Salvador this summer with funding from the Economics Department Summer Fellowship program to embark on research for her thesis on public school nutrition programs.

Prof. Gebresilasse joins Provost's summer trip to South Africa

August 2023

At the start of the summer Prof. Mesay Gebresilasse along with other Amherst faculty and administrators joined Provost Epstein on a trip to Cape Town. They visited the University of Cape Town the top university in Africa to meet with faculty and administrators, and spent time exploring the University's study-away programs for potential future partnerships with Amherst. Prof. Gebresilasse has been a member of the economics department since 2019 and his areas of economic expertise are in development and applied microeconomics.

Audrey Cheng '20 Published in JEEM

August 2023

Amherst Economics alum Audrey Cheng '20 has been published in the recent issue of Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. The paper began as her Amherst College thesis Conservation and Development in China's Nature Reserves: Win-Win or Trade-Offs? Her co-authors are her thesis advisor Kate Sims, Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Amherst and YuanYuan Yi of China Center for Economic Research, National School of Development at Peking University. Cheng is currently a student at Harvard Law School.

Haoran Tong '23: "The Pride of Amherst"

August 2023

In May Haoran Tong '23 was highlighted in Behind the Scenes: Senior Theses Projects for his work on two theses, one for LJST and one for Economics. And in August Amherst Magazine featured his impressive work and accomplishments as an undergrad in an article titled The Pride of Amherst. Tong is also the 2023 recipient of The James R. Nelson Memorial Award, presented to that senior who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, has achieved excellence in the study of economics while pursuing a broad liberal education.

Economics Department Prizes and Awards 2023

Congratulations to our majors for their achievements!

The Bernstein Prize funded by a gift from the Bernstein family in honor of the work their son did at Amherst College is awarded to the senior who, in the opinion of the Economics Department and the Dean of the Faculty, has done particularly outstanding honors work in economics: Sara Kao 23

The James R. Nelson Prize is awarded to the senior who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, has written a distinguished honors thesis that applies economic analysis to an important question of public policy: Xinyu Ni 23

The James R. Nelson Memorial Award is presented to that senior who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, has achieved excellence in the study of economics while pursuing a broad liberal education: Haoran Tong 23

The Jeanne Reinle Prize named after Jeanne Reinle, the Academic Department Coordinator of the Economics Department for 30 years, whose inviting and engaging presence welcomed and supported generations of Amherst Economics students and faculty, is awarded to the senior who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, exemplifies a commitment to building community in the Economics Department and a passion for Economics: Maira Owais 23, Ella Steciuk 23

The Economics Department Junior Class Prize to be awarded to that member of the junior class who, in the opinion of the Economics Department, has achieved a record of excellence in the study of economics at Amherst College: Aidan Cook 24, Ernest Protas 24, Gillian Richard 24, Aryen Shrestha 24

The Hamilton Prize which was established by his former students in memory of Professor Walton Hale Hamilton, distinguished member of the Department of Economics from 1915-1923, is awarded to that first year student who ranks highest in the economics courses he or she has taken: Winton Garrelts 26, Andrew Glassford 26, Ivy Haight 25, Rhine Hazra 26

Sara Kao 23 Franklin S. Odo Prize recipient

Senior economics honors student Sara Kao was awarded the 2023 Franklin S. Odo Prize for her thesis Ethnic Enclaves and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Refugee Resettlement After the Vietnam War.

The Franklin S. Odo Prize Fund was named in memory of the late Franklin S. Odo, the John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer and former John J. McCloy ’16 Visiting Professor of American Institutions and International Diplomacy in the Department of American Studies, the Fund supports a prize to be awarded annually to a senior who has produced an outstanding thesis in the area of Asian/Pacific/American studies.