Paul Sommers
Office
Munroe Hall 308
Tel
(802) 443-5325
Email
psommers@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday and 8:45 AM - 9:15 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by appointment

Paul M. Sommers is the Paige-Wright Professor of Economics at Middlebury College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego (1976).

Professor Sommers has written on economic growth, economic demography, public finance issues, and the economics of sports. He is the editor of Welfare Reform in America: Perspectives and Prospects (Kluwer-Nijhoff) and Diamonds Are Forever: The Business of Baseball (The Brookings Institution).  He is also the author of the Instructor’s Manual for Edwin Mansfield’s Microeconomics: Theory and Applications.

For the last 43 years Professor Sommers has taught courses in economic statistics, (introductory and intermediate-level) microeconomic theory, and a senior seminar on the economics of professional sports.  He is recipient of an Outstanding Teacher Award at the University of California at San Diego (1981) and he shared first prize in a national essay contest on welfare reform sponsored by the Institute of Socioeconomic Studies (1985).  He is a member of the American Economic Association and the Atlantic Economic Society.  He has contributed roughly 230 articles to professional journals, many of which are co-authored with (about 260) former Middlebury College students.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Introductory 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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

DED

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Course Description

The Economics of Sports
This is a survey course of topics illustrating how microeconomic principles apply to the sports industry. Topics covered will include the industrial organization of the sports industry (notably, issues of competitive balance and the implications of monopoly power), the public finance of sports (notably, the impact teams have on host municipalities), and labor issues related to sports (including player worth and discrimination). The prerequisites for this course are meant to ensure that students can both understand fundamental economic concepts and present the results of econometric research as they apply to the sports industry. (ECON 0111 (formerly ECON 0210) and ECON 0211 and ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Winter 2019, Spring 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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Course Description

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

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

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