Penn State Economics Graduate Program ranked Number 3!

Mark McLeod - 2017 Outstanding Teaching Award for Non-Tenure Line Faculty for Liberal Arts

Mark McLeod, Senior Lecturer in Economics, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Teaching Award for Non-Tenure Line Faculty for Liberal Arts.  This is the second time Mark has won the award. 

Information about the award can be found on this page (

The Teaching Economist

For more than a quarter century, The Teaching Economist has presented strategies about teaching and learning from the cognitive sciences. Austin Boyle and William L. Goffe, both of Penn State, tried to uncover the effect of many of these strategies, such as retrieving, spacing, elaborating, generating, and interleaving, on two large macroeconomic principles classes taught by Professor Goffe. These “research-based teaching methods” are too numerous to detail here, but here are some examples of what he tried to do in the course: get nearly all students to read the material before class; connect new ideas with material already covered; interleave topics on five written homework assignments; lead with an example before introducing the abstract idea behind it; ask about five clicker questions per class period that stressed understanding rather than computations; use clicker questions, class discussion, seven quizzes, and the cumulative final exam to space retrieval of key concepts throughout the term; structure PowerPoint slides so that words appear a line at a time and diagrams build in sequence as they are explained; and provide abundant feedback throughout the term, for example, by reviewing the reasoning behind each answer immediately after each quiz. The changes introduced seem ambitious, even exhausting, for an instructor, but he said he enjoyed seeing students learn more effectively. To assess the effect of all these strategies, the Test for Understanding Economics (TUCE) was given at the beginning and end of the semester. The authors argue that because this test was normed in 83 sections of macro principles courses at 53 institutions taught by instructors who volunteered for the norming process, instructors with at least an average interest in teaching, TUCE results should offer a reliable comparison. The 508 students in the course who took the TUCE averaged four more correct answers (out of 30 questions) than the norm and in so doing achieved 0.77 standard deviations more learning in the course. See “Beyond the Flipped Class: The Impact of Research-Based Teaching Methods in a Macroeconomics Principles Class,” (May 29, 2016), available at


Click here to read the full article.

Penn State Economics Professors Create Department of Economics Library

Two Penn State Economics professors have assembled a collection of very interesting reads — with zero budget and at zero cost. Jadrian Wooten and James Tierney created a library for students with a desire to learn more.

The Department of Economics Library is currently three shelves of books covering topics like microeconomics, macroeconomics, “pop” economics, finance, and more. You can find it right outside of Kern 320.

For more info, see the article on Onward State.

Economics Undergraduate Center

Economics Undergraduate Center


The Department of Economics is pleased to announced that the Undergraduate Center has moved to the 4th floor of Kern.  Located in the Center are Gay Catherman, Maggie White, Dave Brown, Paul Kagundu and the Economics Advisers.

Former PSU Economics Graduate, Svetlana Demidova, was selected as the recipient of the 2016 CWEN/RFE Young Researcher Award

Former PSU Economics Graduate, Svetlana Demidova, was selected as the recipient of the 2016 CWEN/RFE Young Researcher Award.

The Canadian Women Economists Network/Réseau de Femmes Économistes (CWEN/RFÉ) Young Researcher Prize is awarded every two years in recognition of research excellence by a young woman economist.

For more information, visit the CWEN website:



Lasanthi Fernando, Economics Majored Named College Marshal for 2016 Commencement

Lasanthi Fernando

Congratulations to Economics Major, Lasanthi Fernando for being named Penn State's College Marshal for 2016 Commencement!



Penn State is transitioning to LionPATH, a new state-of-the-art student information system. Students will begin using LionPATH in Spring 2016 to complete Fall 2016 enrollment activities. LionPATH will fully replace eLion by December 2016.

Information for students available at:

Former PSU Economics Student, Haiqing Xu, wins 2014 Denis Sargan Econometrics Prize

Former PSU Graduate Student, Haiqing Xu has been awarded the 2014 Denis Sargan Econometrics Prize for his paper, "Estimation of Discrete Games with Correlated Types",  and a formal presentation will be made at the 2016 Royal Economic Society Annual Conference on Monday, March 21st to Wednesday March 23, 2016.

See Article here

Graduate Program ranked #3!

Our Economics Graduate Program ranks #3 behind only MIT and Princeton.

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