Professor of Economics
- Warner 017
- (802) 443-3439
- Office Hours
- Thursdays 2:00-5:00 PM; and by appointment
- Additional Programs
Jessica Holmes (Professor of Economics) has been a faculty member at Middlebury College since the fall of 2001. She teaches courses in microeconomics, health economics, the economics of social issues and the economics of sin. For six years, Jessica also directed MiddCORE, an award-winning leadership and innovation program where students build skills in areas such as leadership, collaboration, human-centered design thinking, ideation and persuasive communication.
Jessica’s research has been published in Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Public Economics, The Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Education, Economics of Education Review, African Development Review, Journal of Sports Economics, Social Science Quarterly, Health Policy and Planning, Population Research and Policy Review, Economics of Education Review, Clinical Pediatrics, and Southern Economic Journal. Prior to joining the Middlebury faculty, she 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.
In 2014, Jessica was appointed by Governor Peter Shumlin to serve on Vermont’s health care regulatory body, the Green Mountain Care Board and in 2015, Jessica was selected by the Foreign Minister of Mexico to serve as Honorary Consul to Mexico. She earned a PhD in Economics at Yale University in 1998 and an A.B. in Economics from Colgate University (Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude) in 1993. When not working, you can most likely find Jessica busy with her husband and three children or training at the swimming pool with her Master’s team, the Middlebury Muffintops.
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.
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.
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.
Health Care Law, Econ & Reg
Health Care Law, Economics and Regulation
In this course we will explore why health care is one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S. and how government intervention impacts market outcomes. We will discuss how laws and regulation are used to contain health care costs, protect consumers from anti-competitive practices, and ensure consumer privacy and safety. We will rely on actual cases to understand legal frameworks, regulatory structures, and economic outcomes. Students may also have the opportunity to travel to Montpelier, VT to see health policy, legislation, and regulation in action. (ECON 0155 recommended but not required) (This course may be used to fulfill a 200 level elective towards the economics major requirements.)
Robin J. Lunge, JD, MHCDS is a Member of Vermont’s Green Mountain Care Board, which is charged with designing and administering health care payment and delivery system reform as well as regulating the health care industry. Previously Lunge served as Governor Shumlin’s Director of Health Care Reform for close to 6 years, coordinating health reform efforts for his administration. She also worked as a nonpartisan staff attorney at Vermont Legislative Council for 8 sessions and provided drafting and staff support in health and human services issues to members of the Vermont Legislature./
Social Issues & Public Policy
Social Issues and Public Policy
This course examines current social issues and potential public policy remedies. We will use the tools of economics to explore important social issues such as income inequality, poverty, welfare reform, access to food, health care, housing, and education, climate change, and crime. While the text and lectures will focus on social issues at the national level, students will have the opportunity to explore social issues in Vermont through a semester-long research project. 3 hrs. sem.
Health Policy in Action
Health Policy in Action
This course is an academic internship course that combines a four day/week internship at a Vermont health care organization with one day/week in the classroom. Students will be assigned a specific research project (designed in advance by the faculty member and the internship sponsor) that must be completed by the end of the term. Class time will be spend debriefing the internship experience, building skills relevant to health policy analysis and working on the research project. Grading will based on participation, evaluation by internship sponsor, evidence of personal growth, and performance on final research project. Enrollment in the course is by approval only; please contact the professor for more information.