COVID-19: Essential Information

Peter Hans Matthews

Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics

 work(802) 443-5591
 M 3:00-4:30 (Zoom), W 10:30-12:00 (Zoom), and by appointment.
 75 Shannon 101-W


I came to Middlebury in the fall of 1995, soon after the belated completion of my PhD, written at Yale under the supervision of John Geanakoplos. I was born and raised in Montreal, and have a BA (First Honours) from McGill, and an MA from Queen's. I am the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at Middlebury and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. In 2017/8 I was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the Hanken School of Economics, also in Helsinki. At Middlebury, I teach courses in poverty and inequality, labor and public economics, macroeconomics and game theory, and do research in behavioral economics, labor economics, political economy, inequality and philanthropy.

I am married to Carolyn Craven, a development economist and award-winning children's book author, and we share our old Vermont home with three cats and, from time to time, our now adult twin daughters, Emma Laurel and Catriona Mari.



Course List: 

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

ECON 0250 - 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. (MATH 0121 and ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

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ECON 0370 - Intro to Public Economics      

Introduction to Public Economics
This course serves as an introduction to the study of the government's role in modern market economies. In particular, we will explore the design and impact of government expenditure programs and taxation systems on the welfare and behavior of its citizens. We will consider the following questions: When is government intervention in the economy appropriate? What is the most effective form of intervention? What effects do government policies have on incentives for firms, individuals, and others in the private sector? In this course we will cover a wide range of issues in public economics with a primary focus on current policy debates in the United States, employing standard empirical and theoretical tools used in public economic research. Selected topics include: income taxation, social security, regulation of pollution and other externalities, public goods such as national defense and education spending, welfare programs, inequality, health insurance and other social insurance programs, redistribution, the indirect consequences of taxation, tax evasion, as well as applications of behavioral and experimental economics to these areas. (ECON 0255) 3 hrs. lect. SOC

Spring 2019

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ECON 0401 - 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.

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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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.

Winter 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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INDE 0800 - Ind Schol Sr Work/Proj/Thesis      

Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

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IPEC 0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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IPEC 0700 - Intl.Pol.&Economics SR. Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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