Welcome

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.

News

Iowa State University Part of Grant to Improve Ag Policy in Ghana

Iowa State University has joined a partnership to improve agricultural policy making, policy analysis and implementation in the African country of Ghana. The work is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support Project. Iowa State joins Chemonics, an international development company; the Centre for Policy Analysis, a non-governmental think tank in Ghana; and the Ghana Institute of Management and
Public Administration on the four-year, $15 million grant.

The ISU component of the project is led by John Beghin, professor of economics and a researcher in the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, and Manjit Misra, director of the Seed Science Center who leads the Global Food Security Consortium. Iowa State’s subcontract in the grant is worth $1.145 million.

This project is called the Ghana Feed the Future Agricultural Policy Support Project. It is a capacity building project that will focus on policies affecting seeds and fertilizer use, and smallholder subsistence farming.

Ghana’s agriculture sector represents 30 percent of its gross domestic product and 50 percent of its employment, but is not growing at a pace needed to eliminate food insecurity. This project is designed to complement other USAID efforts by supporting measures where the political will for reform connects with the constraints facing agribusinesses.

Two ISU undergrads work to help end world hunger

Olivia Reicks and Trey Forsyth want to be part of the solution to end world hunger. It's a daunting task considering that it will take a 70 percent increase in food production by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population, but that only serves as motivation for the two Iowa State University undergrads.

Reicks, a junior majoring in supply chain management and business economics, and Forsyth, a sophomore in ag business and agriculture and society, have different ideas on how to achieve food security. They will spend the next semester developing their concepts into a workable solution for the Land O'Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship.

AMES, Iowa – Olivia Reicks and Trey Forsyth want to be part of the solution to end world hunger. It’s a daunting task considering that it will take a 70 percent increase in food production by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population, but that only serves as motivation for the two Iowa State University undergraduates.    

Reicks, a junior majoring in supply chain management and business economics, and Forsyth, a sophomore majoring in ag business and agriculture and society, have different ideas on how to achieve food security. They will spend the next semester developing their concepts into a workable solution for the Land O’Lakes Global Food Challenge Emerging Leaders for Food Security fellowship.  

- See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2015/01/22/foodchallenge#sthash.CczkCTo...

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 entrepreneursh

2014 Land Value Survey Results Announced

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.

Welcome new graduate students!

Welcome to our latest group of graduate students, entering the department for the 2014-2015 school year!

Department welcomes Assistant Professor David Keiser

The department wishes to welcome Assistant Professor David Keiser.

Keiser is a recent graduate of Yale University, where he received his PhD in environmental and natural resource economics. His research brings recent advances in empirical methods and integrated assessment models to bear on environmental policy design and evaluation. To date, his work has focused on the economics of water quality in the US. Prior to graduate school, Keiser worked as an environmental litigation consultant in Washington, DC. He also holds a BA in mathematics and religious studies from the University of Virginia and an MS in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Georgia.

Contact Keiser at:468F Heady Hall,(515) 294-1336, dkeiser@iastate.edu.

Competition to debut at the 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting in San Francisco

The purpose of the new competition is to provide a forum for undergraduate students to showcase their ability to address real world problems in agricultural and applied economics using a spreadsheet, as well as celebrate their success as experiential learners.Competition debuts at AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, San Francisco.

1st place - $400 to the student, a plaque, and recognition at the AAEA Annual Awards Ceremony

2nd place - $200 to the student

3rd place - $100 to the student.

Upcoming Seminars



Ask an Economist


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