Economics majors have various opportunities to conduct original research, whether it be for individual classes, Research Honors, independent research projects, or summer research opportunities.

Student Research

Each senior Economics major completes an independent research project. The research papers by our 2018 seniors include: 

  • "Upward Intergenerational Mobility of College Students: Does the Type of Institution Matter?"
  • "Labor Market Assimilation of Refugees in the United States: Are They Worse Off?"
  • "The Effect of Exchange Rate Volatility on Aggregate Trade Flows for the BRICS Nations"
  • "The Gender Wage Gap: How does having children effect the wage gap?"
  • "Institutional Change and Economic Growth in Post-Apartheid South Africa"
  • "Effect of Corporate Income Taxation on Unemployment Levels in the European Union"
  • "The Value of Third-party verified green residential housing in the Chicagoland area"
  • "Analyzing the Mortgage Loan Value and Associated Risk for a Commercial Bank"
  • "The Macroeconomic Determinants of Remittances Received in Four Regions"
  • "Analysis of Earnings Volatility between Groups"
  • "Economic Impact Study: Illinois Wesleyan Athletic Events"
  • "Correlations of Tourism and Economic Factors in Iceland: 2010-2016"


Our students' Research Honors Projects represent exemplary work in economics at Illinois Wesleyan University. View the Economics Research Honors Collection

Samples of economics students' research and the journals they edit can be accessed from the Economics Department's Digital Commons Dashboard


Summer Research Opportunities

Mark Israel '91 established a summer research scholarship for economics majors to develop research and communications skills. 


Ben White '14, Transfer Student, Double Major in Economics and Mathematics. Ben won support from the Mark A. Israel '91 Endowed Summer Research Fund in Economics to research the probability that immigrants will have health insurance. Ben feels this issue is worth investigating, because it helps us understand how economically disadvantaged people--and their children--are at risk to be uninsured. Ben also runs cross-country and track and field.

 The Mark A. Israel '91 Endowed Summer Research Fund in Economics funds one competitively selected student each summer to conduct independent research in close collaboration with a member of the economics faculty. These research papers are available on Digital Commons.







The Eckley Summer Scholars and Artists Program is a competitive university-wide program that supports summer research and/or creative activity for five students each year, enabling them to stay on campus over the summer to work under the direction of faculty mentors. 


Research Conferences

Many Economics majors present their research at the John Wesley Powell Research Conference, and also at other venues. 

  • The John Wesley Powell Research Conference is a university-wide student research conference that provides individuals with an opportunity to communicate the results of their research projects to those at Illinois Wesleyan University and the greater academic community. It serves as an opportunity for IWU economics students to showcase the research they have done for Senior Project (ECON 401), Advanced Research Seminar (ECON 490), and/or Research Honors.

The following links offer abstracts of economics research projects presented at the John Wesley Powell Conference, arranged by year: