Welcome to the Department of Economics at Iowa State University. We provide the intellectual home to a set of dedicated and talented faculty, motivated and extremely capable staff, and a diverse group of enthusiastic undergraduate and graduate students.

Read more about the department.

What is Economics?

Economics is the study of what individuals, institutions, and economic systems do, or should do, as they deal with the problem of satisfying virtually unlimited wants with scarce resources. Economics deals with choices and optimization, typically embedded in a market system where the notion of equilibrium is essential and where prices play a crucial role. Economics provides a logical and ordered way of looking at a wide variety of issues, and the principles of economics are finding growing applicability in a number of fields. An  understanding of economic concepts can provide substantial personal and social benefits.


Kling named to National Academy of Sciences

Catherine Kling, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences, professor of economics and the director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State, is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries named to the National Academy of Sciences.

Grad assistants receive teaching excellence awards


Congratulations to four graduate assistants who received Iowa State’s Teaching Excellence Award for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Diego Soares-Cardoso, Niklaus Julius, Adam Pendry (left to right), and Shufen Chen (not shown) were honored for their hard work and patience in working with students!


Econ Club travels to Berkshire Hathaway meeting

Members of the Economics Club travelled to the CenturyLink Center in Omaha last week to hear Warren Buffet speak at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ meeting.

The trip ended an eventful year of club meetings with guest speakers, including Shazia Manus, Emily and Andrew Dust, Deloris Wright, Daniel Oh, and other notables in the field of economics.

Kreider selected as exemplary mentor

The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost has recognized Professor Brent Kreider for demonstrating exemplary mentoring of junior faculty for the 2014-2015 academic year. Brent was nominated by his mentee, Dr. Oleksandr Zhylyevskyy. Congratulations, Brent!

Hoffman named senior research fellow

Professor Elizabeth Hoffman was recently invited to be a Senior Research Fellow at the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at the Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago. This is an honorary position, recognizing the research Dr. Hoffman is currently conducting with Matthew Spitzer, the center director.

Farm management team wins award

In March, the Farm Management Team, comprised of Farm Management Extension Specialists and Alejandro Plastina, received the "2015 Impacting Iowans Award" from ISU Extension and Outreach for the decision tools and educational efforts to inform producers about the 2014 Farm Bill Act.


Ron Deiter receives special citation award

Over 5,000 members of the Iowa FFA Association were on campus April 19-21 for their 2015 (annual) Leadership Conference. At their general session meeting on April 20, Ron Deiter was presented with a Special Citation Award. He was the only recipient of this award this year. The award was given in honor of his more than 30 years of service to the association preparing materials for their annual Farm Business Management contest.


Ag bus club places first in competition

Five members of the ISU Agricultural Business Club travelled to Moline, IL on April 9th to compete in the NACTA Agribusiness Management contest. The team placed first overall in the competition and also claimed four of the top five individual awards.

In photo (l to r): Geordan Hanson placed 1st, Nate Christenson 2nd, Hailey Meitner, 4th, Meghan Mills 5th and Natalina Sents, 7th.

Iowa State had seven teams from various departments at the contest. ISU also won the "sweepstakes" award which recognizes the most outstanding all-around performance by a school.

See full contest results.

Reception honors 2014 James R. Prescott Scholarship awardees

Congratulations to scholarship recipients Jimena Gonzalez Ramirez, Jonathan McFadden, and Pan Liu! The scholarship was established to recognize graduate students who demonstrate creativity in their research. It was presented by Jeri Prescott on behalf of her husband, former Emeritus Professor James R. Prescott, who passed away in September 2012.

Software assists farmers with crop maintenance

Michael Koenig (’12 ag and life sciences education) Holden Nyhus (’13 ag and life sciences education) and Stuart McCulloh (’13 ag and life sciences education) created Scout Pro as a class project in a CALS agricultural entrepreneurship course in 2011. The group was named Entrepreneur of the Year as part of the first-ever Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge last week receiving $30,000 in prize money to implement the business idea, which is software to assist farmers with crop maintenance. The Rural Entrepreneurship Initiative is a joint program of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

Consider the possibilities of a graduate degree in economics. Read student stories here.