Faculty research is wide-ranging and include work on fiscal and monetary policy in the United States, economic impacts of river restock, labor market developments in China, the empirical relationship between urbanization and economic growth, and the impact of soda taxes on obesity. Faculty members bring this variety of intellectual interests into their classrooms.
Most Bates students take Principles of Economics and about 30 students per class major in economics. The minor in economics is drawing a growing number of students whose principal interests are in another field. After graduating from Bates, more than two-thirds of economics majors go on for further study, predominantly for the MBA degree.
Students are accepted at the top business schools, including Harvard, Chicago, Stanford, MIT, Wharton and Tuck. Some students attend law schools, such as Yale and NYU, and a few continue graduate work in economics at programs such as Princeton, Yale, and Chicago.
Many graduates begin their post-Bates careers working for firms such as Analysis Group/Economics, Arthur D. Little, DRI, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Nation Economic Research Associates, and The Urban Institute, as well as for government organizations such as the Federal Reserve System.
The economics major at Bates is unusual in two respects.
First, the curriculum emphasizes empirical work. In addition to the standard requirements of Intermediate Microeconomics and Intermediate Macroeconomics, all Bates majors take calculus and both statistics and econometrics before beginning their upper level electives. These courses provide students with the basic skills necessary for independent research work with economic data, both in upper-level electives and in their careers after Bates.
Second, each economics major writes a thesis, an extensive research project, in the senior year. The thesis requirement is designed to further develop students’ writing skills in economic analysis as well as their ability to manage a large project independently.
Faculty members frequently conduct research projects with the aid of student assistants. The College also provides some funds to support students’ independent research projects.