Professor of Economics
Jeffrey Carpenter joined the Economics faculty as an assistant professor in September 1999. He finished his dissertation under the supervision of Herbert Gintis and Samuel Bowles at the University of Massachusetts, February 2000. His dissertation focused on the logical and behavioral foundations of the equal split as a bargaining convention. Prior to returning to New England for his graduate studies (he was born in Bennington, Vermont), he spent his formative years in the Midwest at the University of Minnesota where he received his bachelors degree (BS, Accounting) from the Carlson School of Management.
His research fields include Experimental and Behavioral Economics, Game and Bargaining Theory, and Theoretical Institutional Economics. While pursuing these interests, he has become involved with the MacArthur Foundation's preferences research group headed by Herbert Gintis (UMass) and Robert Boyd (UCLA), The Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany (IZA), and he has been in residence and conducted research at both the Economic Science Lab at the University of Arizona and the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics at the University of Zürich. His research has been (and is), funded by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. This research has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as Games and Economic Behavior, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Economics Letters, Theory & Decision, Computational Economics, and Labour Economics.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
ECON 0155 - Intro Microeconomics
An introduction to the analysis of such microeconomic problems as price formation (the forces behind demand and supply), market structures from competitive to oligopolistic, distribution of income, and public policy options bearing on these problems. 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0255 - Micro Theory ▲
Microeconomic theory concentrates on the study of the determination of relative prices and their importance in shaping the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in an economy. We will study the optimizing behavior of households in a variety of settings: buying goods and services, saving, and labor supply decisions. We will also examine the behavior of firms in different market structures. Together, the theories of household and firm behavior help illumine contemporary economic issues (discrimination in labor markets, mergers in the corporate world, positive and negative externalities, for example). (MATH 0121 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.
Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013
ECON 0380 - Game Theory
Game Theory I
Game theory is general in scope and has been used to provide theoretical foundations for phenomena in most of the social and behavioral sciences. Economic examples include market organization, bargaining, and the provision of public goods. Examples from other behavioral sciences include social dilemmas and population dynamics. In this course students learn the basics of what constitutes a game and how games are solved. This course is meant to be a broad introduction; students with advanced training in economics (or math) are encouraged to enroll directly in ECON 0390. (ECON 0155 and MATH 0121 required; ECON 0255 recommended) 3 hrs. sem.
Spring 2012, Spring 2013
ECON 0399 - Experimental Economics
How do economic incentives influence people’s behavior? In this course students will learn how to test economic models of behavior (e.g., consumption, investment, production) using the experimental lab. Topics include: How and why do markets work? Do people act collectively to provide public goods? What are the determinants of bargaining outcomes? (ECON 0255 required; ECON 0380 or ECON 0390 recommended) 3 hrs. lect.
ECON 0499 - Behavioral/Experimental Econ ▲
Topics in Behavioral and Experimental Economics
In this seminar we will consider current research topics in behavioral and experimental economics. Although the theme for the course is likely to change from semester to semester, all students will design their own study, gather decision-making data, and write a research paper summarizing their main findings. (ECON 0255 and one of the following: ECON 0280, ECON 0390, or ECON 0399) 3 hrs. sem.
Fall 2009, Fall 2013
ECON 0500 - 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 one of the 10 courses for the major.
Fall 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0700 - Senior Research
Senior Research Workshop
Prior to enrolling in ECON 0700, students must have taken a minimum of 6 economics courses at Middlebury approved to count towards the major requirements. These senior workshops will be composed of no more than eight students who will work independently on a project in a specific area for two semesters (fall/winter or winter/spring) and will meet to collectively discuss and present their research. Students who have prearranged a research topic with the professor will be given priority in admission to the seminar. Also, because of limited resources for guiding senior work, students with a single major in economics will be given priority over double majors who will do senior work in other departments. Students interested in pursuing departmental honors must take a Senior Research Workshop (ECON 0700) during their senior year. To receive departmental honors the student must receive a minimum grade of A- in the Senior Research Workshop project and have a 3.5 or higher GPA in all economics courses taken at Middlebury approved to count towards the major requirements. High Honors requires an A in the Senior Research Seminar and a 3.75 or higher economics GPA, and Highest Honors an A in the seminar and a 3.9 or higher economics GPA. (Approval required)
Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013