Teaching Economics with Excel

2017 Workshop: Teaching Economics with Excel

This workshop was held from June 8 - 9, 2017 at Concordia University Irvine in Irvine, California. I would like to deeply thank Dr. George Wright and Melle Lou Del Rosario for their help in supporting and enabling this event. I also thank DePauw University and the Hewlett/Melon funds for financial support.

The original description and schedule are below, after a few comments from participants and photos.


Bruce Brown Cal Poly Pomona
William Dupont College of Saint Benedict & Saint John's University
Brian Gross Whittier College
Grant Johnson University of California, San Diego
Laura Leal South Texas College
John Lindvall Bristol University
Runjing Lu University of California, San Diego
Mary Mccabe National University
Robert McClatchey Concordia University Irvine
Robert Michaels California State University, Fullerton
Janet Muller Concordia University Irvine
Kit Nagel Concordia University Irvine
Anna Terzyan Loyola Marymount University
Drew Wolf Concordia University Irvine
George Wright Concordia University Irvine
Linus Yamane Pitzer College


Selection of Comments and Feedback Quoted from Evaluations

"I really enjoyed and will use when teaching. I liked the topics I had not seen in years."

"The workshop was FANTASTIC. The content was on point and the delivery was excellent. Great personality and very instructive."

"Am very seldom without snarky critique. But I am totally without one after experiencing the quality of your presentation."

"I absolutely loved the workshop! I particularly enjoyed the section on the Solow Model. I can't wait to use some of this in my classes."

"Optimization and comparative statics is the BEST!"

"Bringing in real data (especially FRED) is very powerful. The delivery of the content was excellent."

"Great information -- especially the Maddison data and pop pyramids."







While the content of the typical undergraduate economics course has remained stable in recent decades, computers have become more powerful, easier to use, and as common as pencil and paper. In spite of these developments, teaching methods in the classroom remain virtually unchanged, with chalk-and-talk the dominant mode of delivery. This two-day professional development workshop will demonstrate how to utilize computer-based, active learning techniques to teach economics in a variety of subfields and different levels, enabling participants to create new course materials and content.

The workshop is designed to provide both ready-to-go classroom material and tools that can be used to generate your own examples and content. You can test drive a single application and gradually expand your teaching repertoire. This is an ideal, low cost way to improve and re-energize a course you have taught many times or to create an entirely new course.

The first day will focus on Introductory Economics. The topics include economic growth (exploring long-run trends in real GDP per person with Maddison's World Economy data), demography (directly downloading Census data on population into Excel), and national income accounting (using the FRED Excel add-in). The second day is devoted to intermediate theory and stats. We will work with prepared Excel workbooks with content from Micro and Macro, while learning how to use several Excel add-ins.

Individual lectures, lab modules, or entire courses can be reworked and enhanced, including flipping the classroom. Each day concludes with time for participants to explore workbooks and ideas on their own, with consultation if needed.

We will work in a computer lab, but participants are welcome to bring their own laptops.


Dr. Barreto is interested in using computers (especially Microsoft Excel) to improve the teaching and learning of economics. He is the Q. G. Noblitt Professor of Economics and Management at DePauw University and has published papers and books on pedagogy, including (with Frank M. Howland) Introductory Econometrics using Monte Carlo Simulation with Microsoft Excel (Cambridge University Press, 2006), Intermediate Microeconomics with Microsoft Excel (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Teaching Macroeconomics with Microsoft Excel (Cambridge Univeristy Press, 2016). He has been a Fulbright Scholar, won several teaching awards, and has presented the materials used in this workshop at many colleges and universities around the world. 

Dates and Location

June 8 and 9, 2017 at Concordia University Irvine's Grimm Hall in Irvine, California.

Guest wifi is available for your laptop (Windows with Excel, of course, or a Mac emulating Windows is required).

We will begin on Thursday, June 8, 2017, at 8:30 AM and follow the schedule below.



2017 Schedule

Costs and Funding

This workshop is made possible by generous support from DePauw University and Concordia University. There is a non-refundable $30 registration fee to attend. Participants are responsible for all lodging (see below) and transportation costs.


Questions and Registration

Email hbarreto@depauw.edu if you have questions or would like further information.

Space is limited to the first 24 who register. Participants will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis and registration will close on May 31.

Register here: Teaching Economics with Excel Workshop Registration

Last Updated: 20 March 2017