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Economics, the study of how individuals and societies allocate their scarce resources, is a social science that applies scientific methods of analysis to problems of human interaction.

At Reed, economics courses blend presentation of classical and modern economic theories with discussion of empirical tests and policy implications. Economics majors and minors take coursework in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics, as well as elective coursework.

A more quantitatively heavy track is available to students wanting a deeper experience with quantitative methods and approaches. There are also interdisciplinary options for students interested in using economics in environmental studies or international policy.

The curriculum is designed to equip majors with analytical techniques as well as the understanding necessary to explain economic phenomena and evaluate economic policy.

Economics majors are well prepared for a variety of postgraduate opportunities, including in the fields of public policy, finance, consulting, business, law, and economic development.

“The strength of Reed’s economics department lies with its commitment to teaching students both the theoretical framework of economics and its practical applications. Its emphasis on both qualitative and quantitative methods prepared me to solve complex real-world problems.ASHLEE FOX ’19, Self-Governance Coordinator and Assistant to the Principal Chief at Cherokee Nation and JD candidate at Yale Law School

Professor profile

Professor Noelwah Netusil

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
photo of Noelwah Netusil and Lauren Lavelle ’21

Stanley H. Cohn Professor of Economics Noelwah Netusil’s research focuses on non-market valuation and land economics with a focus in urban areas. Presently, she teaches environmental economics, natural resource economics, and law and economics at Reed. Over one-third of her published papers are coauthored with students, including a 2022 paper with Lauren Lavelle ’21 (ES-Econ), “The Public Benefits of Green Roofs.” The paper quantified, for the first time, the numerous benefits received by non-building residents from the use of green roofs, an approach to stormwater management being embraced around the world.

Of collaborative work with her students, Noelwah says, “It’s so rewarding to mentor students through the research process from framing a question, gathering the data, writing up the results, presenting work at conferences, revising the paper, and then submitting our work for publication.”

Lavelle says, “Not only is Noelwah an outstanding economist, she’s also an invaluable mentor. She took me under her wing even before I figured out I wanted to study economics, and continues rooting for me even post-graduation.”

Download Economics Flyer as a PDF

Grants & Awards

Each year, a number of funded opportunities, listed below, are available for students who want
to undertake individual research, collaborative work with faculty, or policy or public service work with organizations outside of the college. 

  • Economics Summer Internship Awards
  • Environmental Studies Summer Experience Fellowship
  • Initiatives Grants in Undergraduate Research
  • McGill-Lawrence Internship Award
  • Mintz Fund for Student Research in Economics
  • Simpson Fund
  • Walter Mintz Economics Scholarships

In addition to these funding opportunities, Reed’s economics department awards the Gerald M. Meier Award to an economics senior in recognition of outstanding achievement in the Reed undergraduate program.

Financial Services Fellowship

The Financial Services Fellowship gives students who are interested in financial services a hands-on experience through an intensive trip to New York City during spring break. Students meet with journalists, sales and trading analysts, investment professionals, hedge fund managers, and financial analysts.

The trip includes:

  • an opportunity to shadow professionals in the workplace and get a sense of day-to-day operations and discuss specific jobs and careers in the field;
  • a tour of a trading floor;
  • one-on-one meetings with financial services professionals;
  • networking with Reed alumni and trustees.

What Do Alumni Do?

Human Capital Management Analyst
Goldman Sachs
Andrew Her ’22

PhD Student, Economics
The University of California, Davis
Shisham Adhikari ’21

Salma Huque ’20

Senior Research Assistant
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Claire Jellison ’20

Associate Analyst
National Economic Research Associates Economic Consulting
Shulav Neupane ’20

Associate Consultant
Bain & Company
Giorlando Ramirez ’20

Research Analyst
Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
Nikhita Airi ’19

Bounce Finance
Jack Lu ’19