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.


Witschorik and Li participate in case study competition

The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, University of Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation (CASC) sponsored a student case study competition on June 2, 2015 as part of the CASC meetings held in Ottawa, Ontario Canada on June 2–4, 2015. 

Iowa State researchers find little evidence to support skills gap claims

AMES, Iowa – A shortage of skilled workers is often the reason many employers say they struggle to find qualified employees to fill vacancies or expand their business. It’s become such a concern that public officials in many states are looking for solutions to grow a skilled workforce to meet these needs.

However, an Iowa State University economic analysis of national and statewide employment, education and population data finds that some of the evidence used to support the skills gap debate is weak. Researchers Dave Swenson and Liesl Eathington say there are several factors contributing to hiring challenges, but a widespread lack of skilled workers is not one.

Kling named RFF University Fellow

Resources for the Future (RFF) announced the appointment of Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences Catherine L. Kling from Iowa State University as a new University Fellow.

RFF Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow Molly Macauley said: "The title of RFF University Fellow is an honor bestowed on leading scholars from around the world who excel in innovative research on the economics of natural and environmental resources. Dr. Kling, along with Dr. Amy Ando of the University of Illinois, and Dr.Catherine Wolfram from the University of California, Berkley, joins 24 world-class scholars in RFF's University Fellows Program. The new scholars complement our commitment to objective analysis----often from an economics perspective----of many of today's most pressing challenges in the field of the environment, energy, and natural resources."

Swenson completes 200th marathon

Dave Swenson
, an associate scientist of economics at Iowa State University, ran his first marathon in 1999, and it was such a painful experience that he thought he’d never run another after crossing the finish line. But this spring, Swenson completed his 200th race that was 26.2 miles or farther in distance. - See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2015/05/18/swensonrunning#sthash.mGxl0h...

Joshua Rosenbloom named department chair

Joshua Rosenbloom, a professor of economics at the University of Kansas, has been named the chair of the Department of Economics at Iowa State University. Rosenbloom will begin his duties Aug. 1. He succeeds John Schroeter, who has served as interim chair since 2011 and will return to the faculty.

“I’m very excited to be joining a department with such an excellent reputation and so many talented and productive members,” Rosenbloom said. “I look forward to working with everyone at Iowa State to build on the department’s record of success.”

Rosenbloom earned a doctorate in economics from Stanford University in 1988 and a bachelor’s degree in history from Oberlin College in 1981. He joined the University of Kansas in 1988 and served as associate vice chancellor of research and graduate studies from 2006 to 2012, and as the interim dean of its graduate studies from 2011 to 2012.

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.

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!

Kling named 2014 AERE Fellow

Catherine Kling received a 2014 Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE) Fellow Award on June 4, 2015 at the AERE Summer Conference held at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, California. An AERE Fellow Award is the highest honor presented by the association to recognize individuals:

Catherine L. Kling has made substantial and continuous contributions to the advancement of environmental economics, both through her research discoveries in several distinct areas of agricultural, natural resource and environmental economics and through her selfless and dedicated service to the profession. Cathy has contributed broadly to the theory and practice of nonmarket valuation and to recreation demand modeling in particular. Her research is characterized by careful attention to the implications of microeconomic theory regarding what can (and cannot) be learned about consumer preferences for public goods from their limited footprints in the marketplace.

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.


Upcoming Seminars

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