Kathy Paulson Gjerde, PhD, Program Director


  • Kathy Paulson Gjerde, PhD
  • William Rieber, PhD

Assistant Professors

  • Ronia Hawash, PhD
  • Xiang Li, PhD


  • Whitney Bross, PhD
  • Tom Karbowski, MBA
  • John Pemberton, MA

Program Website

Economics Requirements

Why Study Economics?

Economics provides you with problem-solving and data-gathering skills to make informed decisions in a variety of settings, e.g., government, law, finance, business, and journalism; and for a variety of job responsibilities—from college intern to a newly hired bank credit analyst at one end of the spectrum, to U.S. senator, Supreme Court justice, or CEO of a successful business on the other.

Besides being a strong major in its own right, economics is a nice complement for students who have interests in philosophy, political science, sociology, history, mathematics, psychology, foreign languages, engineering, and English. Indeed, the Nobel Prize in Economics is often awarded to economists who also have a keen interest in one of the above areas.

Why Study Economics at Butler?

You can study economics as a major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and also as a major in the Lacy School of Business. The student in Liberal Arts and Sciences may have a given career path in mind but often does not. He or she knows that economics offers an array of opportunities and takes economics to learn critical-thinking skills and about the dynamic economic environment in which we live. The career choice will follow. The same applies to a student who majors in the Lacy School of Business, but the career choice in that case is more targeted to the business sector. The economics courses taken in either college are the same; the courses outside of economics, though, are different between the two colleges.

Economics Student Learning Outcomes

Students will learn and discuss issues such as how the Federal Reserve creates money and influences interest rates domestically and around the world, why the euro changes in value against the dollar, and the reason behind Zimbabwe’s inflation. You’ll learn about the “Wealth of Nations” from rich countries (e.g., the United States) to poor ones (e.g., Bangladesh), about growing countries (e.g., China) and countries transitioning to capitalism (e.g., Russia). You’ll learn about the invisible hand of the market and the different roles of government in a mixed economy.

The tools in addressing these questions include supply and demand, international trade and exchange rate determination, monetary and fiscal policy, market structure, and statistical relationships.

Degree Programs

  • Major in Economics (BA)
  • Minor in Economics