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.


Artz wins Outstanding Service award

Georgeanne Artz, assistant professor, received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences'  Outstanding Service in Student Recruitment and Retention Award.

Artz is an academic adviser for the Agricultural Business Club. Under her guidance the club has continued its string of outstanding club awards. She coaches teams to prepare for academic quiz bowls and fosters undergraduate research that has led to award-winning submissions.

Schulz wins CALS award

Lee Schulz, assistant professor, received the Early Achievement Extension and Outreach Award given by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Since joining the faculty in 2012, Schulz has provided leadership and extension-focused programming on the critical issues facing Iowa’s livestock and meat industries, such as animal identification and traceability, market analysis, consumer demand, animal disease economics and risk management.

Edwards and Jolly to receive award

Emeritus Professors William Edwards and Robert Jolly have been selected to jointly receive the 2016 Faculty/Staff Inspiration Award.

The Faculty/Staff Inspiration Award is partially funded by earnings from the Nancy and Richard Degner Alumni Association Endowment.

Weekly media contacts for the Department of Economics - Swenson

David Swenson, associate scientist, spoke with Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News, on the economic impact of the Iowa caucuses.

Swenson also talked with Christopher Doering, Des Moines Register, about the post-caucus status of the ethanol industry and whether renewable fuels issues will be raised in other caucus states, and was also a guest on WHO TV's Big Show, with Doug Cooper and Bob Quinn. They talked about the importance of ethanol in national politics now that Cruz, who is not a supporter of the RFS, won in Iowa.

Julius honored for work

Dame DeAnne Julius was honored at an Economics Department reception on Dec. 18 for her distinguished service to the economics profession. 

Liu receives scholarship

Fangge Liu is this year’s recipient of the Cathryn Jacobson Ahrenholz Scholarship. This award recognizes a graduate student in the department of economics who has a strong record of academic achievement, shows exceptional promise, and has a dissertation interest in agriculture. The amount of the scholarship is $3,000.

2015 Prescott Scholarship recipients

Grad students Zhixia Ma and Kevin Meyer are the recipients of the 2015 James R. Prescott Scholarship in Economics. The scholarship was established by a gift to the Iowa State University Foundation from former Emeritus Professor James R. Prescott to recognize graduate students who demonstrate creativity in their research.

Weekly media contacts for the Department of Economics

Chad Hart and Dave Swenson were interviewed for a Des Moines Register story about the DuPont and Dow's gigantic $130 billion merger.

Dave Swenson also talked with the following media:

Trent Rice, of KASI's Trent Rice Show and Matthew Patane, Des Moines Register reporter, about what happens if the Federal Reserve increases interest rates.

Survey shows farmland value drop

Wendong Zhang
, lead researcher of the 2015 Iowa Land Value Survey, released results Monday that show the statewide average farmland value fell for the second consecutive year.

Dropping by $310, the average per acre price for ag land in the 99 Iowa counties is now about $7,633. Read more about the survey.

Ag Bus freshmen receive Paul Doak scholarship

A few recipients of the Paul Doak Agricultural Business Recruiting Scholarship gathered on campus for a group photo this fall: Brandon Mayer (back left), John Green, Erin Kurdelmeyer (front left) and Emily Cook.

Doak’s former students created the scholarship to honor him and support students with financial need.

More information about the scholarship

Upcoming Seminars

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