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 2020 seniors include: 

“Plant Closure and Poverty in Bloomington”

“Gender Differences in Undergraduate Economics Majors and its Subsequent Effects on Female Wages Earnings Premiums on College Majors”

“Second-Generation Mexican Immigrants: How Do Their Poverty Rates Compare to the First-Generation and U.S. Natives?”

“Effects of the Great Recession: College Graduates Entering the Labor Market”

“Educational Expenditure in Relation to Crime”

“Analysis on a War Without Fire”

“The Effect Human-Capital Variables have on the Earnings of Polish Immigrant and Native-Born Full Time Employed Workers”

“Illinois Out Migration: Who is leaving the State?”

“The Delaying of Marriage”

“Unemployment in Southern Europe & its Impact on the GDP Growth of the European Union”

“The Intersectionality of Socioeconomic Status, Socioeconomic Status, Air Pollution Exposure, and Negative Health Outcomes in Chicago”

“Racial Discrimination and Homeownership Rates in Chicago and Bloomington/Normal”

“The Effects of Job Polarization on Manufacturing”

“Earnings Premiums on College Majors”

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.