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.


Department welcomes Professor John Crespi

The department is pleased to welcome John Crespi to the staff. John comes from the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University and will join our department as a tenured full professor. 

John's research interests focus on industrial organization and product differentiation issues in food and agriculture, including such specific topics as commodity promotion and advertising, food safety regulations, food labeling, and the competitive structure of markets. He will teach our senior-level agricultural finance course.

His wife, Tracy Turner, also an economist, will come to Iowa State as an Associate Professor in the Department of Finance.

Contact John at 369 Heady Hall, 294-1699, jcrespi@iastate.edu.

Department welcomes Assistant Professor Ivan Rudik

The economics department is pleased to welcome Assistant Professor Ivan Rudik to the faculty.

Rudik earned his B.S. in Economics from Rochester Institute of Technology. He received his M.A. in Economics from the University of Arizona and recently received his Economics Ph.D. from that same institution.

His research interests include Climate Change, Renewable Energy, and Risk and Uncertainty and his working papers cover climate change and energy policy.

Ivan's position is part of a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Focus Area that includes biological, physical, and social scientists and communications experts all working on issues related to the field of sustainability science. This year he'll teach a section of Principles of Microeconomics and a graduate level course on advanced computational methods in economic research.

You can contact Ivan at 479 Heady Hall, 294-2241, or at irudik@iastate.edu.

Welcome to new first year grad students

The department welcomes the new graduate students who started class this week. Have a great year!

Thursday's Department Seminar: Li Yu, Central University of Finance and Economics

"Supported or Supporting? Family Structure and Employment Choice of the Elderly in Urban China"
  Li Yu, Central University of Finance and Economics, Bejing, China, Thursday, Sept. 3, 3:40-5:00 PM, 360 Heady Hall.

Dr. Li Yu received her Ph.D. in Economics at Iowa State University in 2008. Her research focuses on topics associated with human capital, such as human capital returns, technology adoption, firm size, rural development, migration, and entrepreneurship. Her current project is on firm entry and exit and entrepreneurship.

Alumnus Ryan Hrubes passes

Ryan Hrubes
, a 2010 graduate of the Ag Business program, died in a car accident in South Dakota on Thursday, Aug. 20. He lived in the Omaha area and had an older brother, Brandon, who graduated from Ag Bus in 2005. His younger brother, Nathan, is currently in our program. The department's condolences go out to the Hrubes family.

Read the story.

Department welcomes Assistant Professor Wendong Zhang

Wendong Zhang is a PhD graduate and Presidential Fellow from the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at The Ohio State University.

His expertise is in environmental, agricultural, and land economics, as well as human-natural systems and his research aims to promote the sustainability of agroecosystems using integrated models of agricultural land use and ecosystem services.

He starts this fall as an assistant professor working in extension, doing research and teaching in agricultural production and technology, with an emphasis on crop production, land and other natural resources.

Contact Wendong at 478C Heady Hall, 294-2536, wdzhang@iastate.edu

Pouliot and Babcock receive AAEA Award

Bruce Babcock
and Sebastien Pouliot received the Bruce Gardner Memorial Prize for Applied Policy Analysis at this year's Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Annual meeting in San Francisco.

Lee Schultz conducted a certified Angus beef auction market study and states that consumers are  sending a clear message to producers that they are willing to pay more for qualtiy beef genetics.

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.

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. 

Upcoming Seminars

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