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. Some of the research papers by our 2017 seniors include: 

  • "The Relationship Between Human Capital of Presidents and Performance of Firms in Vietnam"
  • "Estimating the Determinants of Bank Profitability in the European Union from 1998-2013"
  • "The Gender Wage Gap: Does it Pay to Follow the Crowd?"
  • "Who is Better Off?: An Empirical Analysis of How Birth Order Affects Earnings"
  • "Emission, Education, and Politics: An Empirical Study of the Carbon Dioxide and Methane Environmental Kuznets Curve"


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: