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econ class econ class

Department Overview

To Students: Communicating with Profs and the Department During Campus Closure

For all course-related issues, please be in contact with your economics professor. For departmental inquiries, please use email wherever possible. Non-urgent departmental inquiries should be emailed to Megan Salladino, and urgent inquiries for the department chair should be emailed to Professor O’Connell with a copy to Megan Salladino (

To request an office hours consultation with Prof. O’Connell, please use email ( or voice mail if needed (610-328-8107). Inquiries from outside of the Swarthmore community will be handled on a non-urgent basis wherever appropriate.
  • How do markets aggregate information and coordinate economic behavior?
  • Why do governments regulate economic activity, and with what consequences?
  • Does trade with India and China reduce wages in industrial countries?
  • Should the Federal Reserve try to keep the inflation rate near zero?
  • How should public spending programs in health and education be designed?
  • What are the drivers of economic growth in low-income countries?

Within a flexible program of practical relevance, Swarthmore's economics curriculum emphasizes analytical rigor, the use and interpretation of statistical evidence, and the development of sustained written arguments. Students develop a portable set of skills, making the economics major a pathway to a rich array of careers in business, law, journalism, public policy, government, and academics.

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Calendar of Events

Visible Hands in Economics

Department launches the "Visible Hands in Economics" (VHE) program. VHEs support student learning and engagement in introductory economics by performing traditional teaching-assistant duties in all sections of the course and hosting a new weekly study hall open to all students taking introductory economics. Pictured above, the first-ever cohort of VHEs: Chase Williamson '19, Deante Bryan '20, Katie Pruitt '20, Mirayda Martinez '20, Vanessa Jimenez-Read '20, Lauren Knudson '19 (VHE Program Student Coordinator), Emma Tapp '20, Lija Liu '20, Jeffrey Tse '19, Jessica Li '19, Jack Cote '20

Learn more about the Visible Hands in Economics

Summer Seminar Series

Each summer, Swarthmore hosts a seminar series at which area faculty present their research.  Faculty members from Swarthmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Lafayette, Ursinus, Drexel, and the University of Delaware will present their research during the 2018 series.

Summer Seminar Series

Department History

Maria Sanford taught Political Economy at Swarthmore College from 1872 to 1876. Click here, for a history of the Economics Department by Joshua Hausman, 2005.

Department History