Professor of Economics
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]
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 0200 - 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.
Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Spring 2014
ECON 0410 - 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.
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 the major or minor requirements.
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Winter 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
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)
Fall 2010, Winter 2011
FYSE 1041 - 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.
INTD 1074 - MiddCORE 2015
MiddCORE’s mentor-driven leadership and innovation immersion 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, conflict resolution, and crisis management. Visit www.middcore.com to learn more. Acceptance into MiddCORE 2014 is by approval only. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Saturday, Nov. 2nd with the following information: Name, Class Year, Major, and a brief paragraph explaining why you want to be in MiddCORE. Decisions will be emailed by Sunday evening, Nov 3rd. (Pass/Fail)
Winter 2011, Winter 2012, Winter 2013, Winter 2014
INTD 1089 - Middlebury Entrepreneurs
Many people have great ideas for new products or services, but few are willing and able to take the steps necessary to make these ideas a reality. Entrepreneurship is the mindset and skill set that allows passionate people to execute business plans and create lasting, influential companies. Through lecture, class discussion, and hands-on mentoring, students will bring a project proposal from concept to launch quickly and effectively. Key concepts that will be taught include: opportunity analysis, financial planning, team building, and fundraising. Classwork will be supplemented with guest visits from notable entrepreneurs. To qualify for this class, each student must have a business idea—for profit or not for profit—for which they care passionately and are willing to commit the time and energy necessary to give the startup a real chance at success. Students must submit a project proposal describing in less than 500 words: 1). the problem or opportunity they will address; 2). the product or solution they propose to solve this problem; and 3). why they are well suited to tackle this project. Please submit proposals to MiddEnt@middlebury.edu (Approval Required; Pass/Fail)