Senior essays are not intended to be reviews of the literature, rather they are an examination of a particular issue using the tools of economics. In particular, the essay must contain original research or/and analysis. They can be theoretical, empirical or computational. The senior essays that receive A’s and are awarded prizes are typically those that use economics tools (and, where appropriate, data) to offer fresh insights on questions. Topics are as diverse as recording and analyzing the behavior of black jack players, the effect of charter schools on student performance, the effect of China’s development on trade, the effect of the Fed on the stock market…. Examples of past essays are available on the Senior Essays Nominated for Prizes page .

There are no page requirements or formatting requirements for senior essays in economics. Advice regarding bibliographies, graphs, etc. should be given by your advisor. Generally essays run about 30 pages.