Peter Hans Matthews

Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics

 Mondays and Tuesdays 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM at Wilson Cafe, Thursdays 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM in Warner, or by appointment.
 Warner Hall 305C


I joined the Economics Department in the fall of 1995, shortly after completing my Ph.D. at Yale, where I worked with John Geanakoplos, David Weiman and Benjamin Polak. I have a BA (First Honors) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and an MA from Queen’s University at Kingston, also in Canada. I teach courses in macroeconomics, labor economics and economic theory, and do research in behavioral economics and radical political economy.

I am married to Carolyn Craven, a development economist and award-winning children's book author. We share our old Vermont house with our remarkable twin daughters, Emma Laurel and Catriona Mari, now thirteen, and three cats.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ECON0150 - Intro Macroeconomics      

Introductory Macroeconomics
An introduction to macroeconomics: a consideration of macroeconomic problems such as unemployment and inflation. Theories and policy proposals of Keynesian and classical economists are contrasted. Topics considered include: banking, financial institutions, monetary policy, taxation, government spending, fiscal policy, tradeoffs between inflation and unemployment in both the short run and the long run, and wage-price spirals. 3 hrs. lect. SOC

Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

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ECON0210 - Economic Statistics      

Economic Statistics
Basic methods and concepts of statistical inference with an emphasis on economic applications. Topics include probability distributions, random variables, simple linear regression, estimation, hypothesis testing, and contingency table analysis. A weekly one-hour lab is part of this course in addition to three hours of class meetings per week. Credit is not given for ECON 0210 if the student has taken MATH 0116, or MATH 0310, or PSYC 0201 previously or concurrently. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. lab DED

Spring 2013, Spring 2014

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ECON0229 - Econ Hist/Hist of Econ Thought      

Economic History and History of Economic Thought
Economic History and History of Economic Thought
This course will provide an introduction to economic history and the history of economic thought. We will investigate and understand the causes and consequences of important historical events and trends, such as industrialization and globalization, from an economic perspective. We devote considerable attention to the dissemination throughout Europe of new industrial and agricultural practices originating in Britain. Along the way, we evaluate how prominent economists perceived and analyzed the events of their time. (ECON 0150, ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect. EUR HIS SOC

Spring 2015

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ECON0250 - Macro Theory      

Macroeconomic Theory
Macroeconomic theory analyzes whether the market effectively coordinates individuals' decisions so that they lead to acceptable results. It considers the effectiveness of monetary, fiscal, and other policies in achieving desirable levels of unemployment, inflation, and growth. The theories held by various schools of economic thought such as Keynesians, monetarists, and new classicals are considered along with their proposed policies. (ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.

Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014

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ECON0280 - 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. (Formerly ECON 0380) (ECON 0155 and MATH 0121 required; ECON 0255 recommended) 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2015

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ECON0401 - Inequality and Justice      

Poverty, Inequality and Distributive Justice
This seminar will explore recent theoretical and empirical research on socioeconomic inequality. The definitions, causes and consequences of inequality at both the individual (micro) and national and international (macro) levels will be considered. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.

Spring 2015, Fall 2016

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ECON0480 - Labor Economics      

Labor Economics
This seminar will explore the economics of labor markets from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Topics covered include: labor force participation, wage determination, welfare and minimum wage policies, education and on-the-job training, compensating differentials, dual labor markets, inequality and discrimination, unions, immigration, employment relations, and household bargaining. (ECON 0255 required; ECON 0211 strongly recommended)

Fall 2013, Spring 2017

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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.

Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

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ECON0701 - Senior Research Workshop I      

Senior Research Workshop I
In this first semester, students will design and begin their projects. Emphasis will be on designing a novel research question (while making the case for its importance) and an appropriate strategy for answering it. This requires immersion in the academic literature on the topic. General research principles and tools will be taught in class, as a group, while those specific to individual projects will be covered in one-on-one meetings. By the end of the term, students will outline their plan for completing the project, including demonstrating that it is a feasible research question for which the necessary information (e.g., data or source materials) is available or can be generated by the student (e.g., lab or other experiment). (Approval required)

Winter 2016

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ECON0702 - Senior Research Workshop II      

Senior Research Workshop II
In this second semester of the senior research workshop sequence, the focus is on the execution of the research plan developed in ECON 0701. Most instruction is now one-on-one but the workshop will still meet as a group to discuss and practice the presentation of results in various formats (seminars, poster sessions, et cetera) to the rest of the workshop and others in the college and broader communities. Feedback and critiques from such presentations will be incorporated into the project, which will culminate in a research paper in the style of an economics journal article. (ECON 0701; Approval required)

Spring 2016

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IPEC0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

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IPEC0700 - Intl.Pol.&Economics SR. Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

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Program in International Politics & Economics

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Middlebury College
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