Jessica Holmes (Associate Professor of Economics) has been a member of Economics Department at Middlebury College since the fall of 2001. She teaches courses in microeconomics, statistics, public finance, health economics, the economics of social issues and the economics of sin. Prior to joining the Middlebury faculty, she taught at Colgate University and worked as a litigation consultant for National Economic Research Associates, conducting economic analyses for companies facing lawsuits involving securities fraud, product liability, and intellectual property. Her research fields include health economics and philanthropy and her research has been published in journals such as the Journal of Public Economics, The Economic Journal, Population Research and Policy Review, Economics of Education Review, Clinical Pediatrics, and Southern Economic Journal. She received a Ph.D. in Economics in 1998 from Yale University under the guidance of T. Paul Schultz. and an A.B. in Economics from Colgate University (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude) in 1993.
She is an avid masters swimmer competing at both the national and international level. She is married to Stephen Holmes, a software developer, with whom she has three children, Katherine, Justin and Sarah.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ECON0200 - Health Economics & Policy
Health Economics and Policy
In this course we will focus on the health care system of the United States. We will apply standard microeconomic tools to the problems of health and health care markets. The course provides the fundamental tools with which to understand how the health care market is different from the markets for other goods. For example, students will learn about the dominant presence of uncertainty at all levels of health care, the government's unusually large presence in the market, the pronounced difference in knowledge between doctors and patients, and the prevalence of situations where the actions of some impose costs or benefits on others (e.g., vaccinations, drug research). (ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect. AMR NOR SOC
Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2016
ECON0285 - The Economic Lens
The Economic Lens
In this team-taught course, members of the economics faculty will discuss how they use the theoretical and empirical tools of economics to understand the world. The instructors will draw on their individual areas of expertise to present topics such as education and health policy, the minimum wage, business cycles, crime, discrimination in the marketplace, climate and pollution, and poverty and inequality. 3 hrs. lect.
ECON0410 - Economics of Sin ▲
The Economics of “Sin”: Sex, Crime, and Drugs
In this course we will apply traditional microeconomic principles to non-traditional topics such as adultery, prostitution, teen pregnancy, crime and punishment, drugs and drug legalization, and gambling. We will ask the following questions throughout the course: To what extent is "sinful" behavior rational and utility-maximizing? What role does the government play in regulating "sinful" behavior and what are the consequences of these government interventions? The primary focus will be on the United States but brief comparisons will be made to "sinful" behavior and policy interventions in other countries. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2013, Spring 2017
ECON0500 - Individual Special Project ▲ ▹
Individual Special Project
If you choose to pursue an area that we do not offer or go in depth in an area already covered, we recommend the Individual Special Project option. These ECON 0500 proposals MUST be passed by the entire department and are to be submitted to the chair by the first Friday of fall and spring semester, respectively. The proposals should contain a specific description of the course contents, its goals, and the mechanisms by which goals are to be realized. It should also include a bibliography. According to the College Handbook, ECON 0500 projects are a privilege open to those students with advanced preparation and superior records in their fields. A student needs to have a 3.5 or higher G.P.A. in Economics courses taken at Middlebury in order to pursue an Individual Special Project. ECON 0500 does not count towards the major or minor requirements.
Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Spring 2018
FYSE1041 - Economics of Social Issues
The Economics of Social Issues
In this course we will examine current social problems from the perspective of an economist. We will use the tools of economics as a framework for understanding important social issues such as poverty, discrimination, access to health care, crime and drugs, immigration, welfare reform, affordable housing, quality and affordability of childcare, solvency of social security, gun control, divorce, and the environment. 3 hrs. sem. CW SOC
INTD0500 - Independent Study
Fall 2015, Spring 2016
INTD1074 - MiddCORE 2017
MiddCORE’s mentor-driven leadership and innovation immersion program builds skills and confidence through collaborative, experiential, and impact-focused learning. Through daily, weekly, and month-long challenges, students gain experience in leadership, strategic thinking, idea creation, collaboration, persuasive communication, ethical decision-making, cross-cultural understanding, conflict resolution, empathy, and crisis management. Acceptance into MiddCORE 2016 is by approval only. To learn more about this January's MiddCORE curriculum and to apply to the program, please visit go/MiddCOREwinter. Applications are due by 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30th. Decisions will be emailed by Sunday evening, Nov. 1st. (Pass/Fail; Approval Required) non-standard grade WTR
Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016, Winter 2017
SUMR1004 - MiddCore SNC
MiddCORE—Sierra Nevada College, Incline Village, NV
MiddCORE’s mentor-driven leadership and innovation program builds skills and confidence through collaborative, experiential, impact-focused learning. Through daily, weekly, and month-long challenges, students gain experience in leadership, strategic thinking, idea creation, collaboration, persuasive communication, ethical decision-making, cross-cultural understanding, conflict resolution, empathy, and crisis management. The class meets over 40 hrs/week with additional evening and weekend activities. Acceptance into MiddCORE's Summer 2016 Program is by application only. To learn more about this summer's MiddCORE curriculum and how to apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Pass/Fail) (Staff) non-standard grade Summer Study
Summer Study 2015, Summer Study 2016