Intermediate Microeconomics with Excel

2013 Workshop: Teaching Economics with Excel

This workshop was held from June 12 - 14, 2013. The original description and schedule are below, after a few comments from participants and photos.


Name Institution
Aaron M. Swoboda Carleton College
Nelson Altamirano  National University
Robert Maltsbarger University of Missouri-Columbia
Suthathip Yaisawarng Union College
Rajaram Krishnan Earlham College
David Vera Fresno State
George Nwaogu Central College
Mark Farley Harding University
Phil Ruder Pacific University
Jaime Haag Pacific University
Jonathan Andreas Bluffton College

Comments and Feedback Quoted from Evaluations

Your enthusiasm and joy for teaching and sharing made it a delightful three days. I learnt to leverage EXCEL in a few ways that I haven't (I do use EXCEL rather extensively in my teaching of Micro, Stats, Econometrics, and Economics of Personal Finance), and I think that is going to be helpful.

I found the workshop extremely helpful . Let me put it this way: I wish I had taken this workshop when I first started teaching. 

I truly enjoyed both the Monte Carlo simulation, regression in Excel and the unequal probability of selection. I was also very impressed with the Solow model. I have been teaching this model for over 6 years and I understand students' difficulties in grasping the fact that the economy is indeed growing at the steady state. I will definitely be using the Solow model Excel files.

I can easily see where having conventional/math based economic training taught in concert with Excel is beneficial. The complementarity between the two methods assists to use the two primary methods of learning (i.e. repetition and pictures) to really found a base for conceptual knowledge in the students.

As a teaching device your incorporation of Excel is the clutch that gets students engaged into the topic.

A real eye opener was the implementation of concepts visually through the workbooks.

Overall, I found the workshop very informative and I enjoyed the content and the interaction with the material. I believe it will be very beneficial to use this type of teaching method for future class opportunitities. I am hoping I will be able to manipulate your methods in an effective way to add some simulation analysis into my research.

All the materials that were covered in the workshop were really interesting. Am really looking forward to applying these methods in my Introductory Macroeconomics and Intermediate Macroeconomics class next fall. Am really glad I attended the conference. If there is ever a “part 2” to this conference, I will surely attend it.

I really like your pedagogical philosophy, “Replace abstraction with concrete examples and strong visuals”. You definitely followed that the entire time, and it really made the workshop exciting.

I am convinced the Excel-based teaching method opens a learning dimension I couldn’t dream of before participating in this workshop, and I am sure students will benefit from deeper learning.

We didn’t go into details in the workshop because the purpose was to introduce key applications to micro, econometrics and macro, but given all the online materials and textbooks generously provided by Humberto, we received enough to explore by ourselves. And, when I did that, I discovered more things … it is really a Pandora's box full of surprises, the reward is unlimited.

My favorite topic was the econometrics. I think the approach you take offers a productive re-thinking of the way to teach econometrics. I look forward to implementing it in the Spring of 2015, the next time I teach that course.

I really enjoyed the workshop. Bert, you are a great host. The pace was appropriately fast. I’d much rather be working to keep up with you than bored.

The workshop was an outstanding use of my time. I liked the substance of the workshop and I liked having some blocs of free time, too. I guess if it were in all-expenses paid and in Hawaii I would have enjoyed it a tad more but you did Greencastle,  IN, and DePauw proud.

I was very impressed with the section on macroeconomics, the files on the Solow model can convey concepts in more meaningful and intuitive way than any textbook that I have ever seen. 

The econometrics applications were extremely useful. I can't wait to use some of it in my Econometrics class particularly, the simulations which clearly illustrate the concept of probability distributions.




At Work




Group 2


Workshop: Teaching Economics with Excel

June 12 - 14, 2013

DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana



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 remain virtually unchanged, with chalk-and-talk the dominant mode of delivery. This 3-day workshop will demonstrate how to utilize computer-based, active learning techniques to teach economics and econometrics.  By providing real, concrete examples with clear visual feedback, students learn much more and acquire sophisticated computer skills.

Each day will be devoted to a particular course: Intermediate Micro on the first day, then Econometrics and, finally, Intermediate Macroeconomics. Participants will learn sophisticated applications of Excel, using macro-enhanced workbooks and a variety of add-ins. Workshop sessions will be held in a computer lab in DePauw’s Julian Science Center. An entire course can be transformed or portions of it can be upgraded by occasional use of Excel-based content as examples or homework assignments. This professional development will enable participants to create new course materials and content. Individual lectures, lab components, or entire courses can be reworked and enhanced. Participants will receive complete sets of Excel workbooks and add-ins for the three courses.

Dr. Barreto is interested in using computers (especially Microsoft Excel) to improve the teaching and learning of economics.  He is the Elizabeth P. Allen Distinguished University Professor at DePauw University and author, with Frank M. Howland, of Introductory Econometrics using Monte Carlo Simulation with Microsoft Excel (Cambridge University Press, 2006) and Intermediate Microeconomics with Microsoft Excel (Cambridge University Press, 2009).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.  His current project is Teaching Macro with Excel.

There is no fee to attend the workshop and all meals are provided by the generous support of the Elizabeth P. Allen funds at DePauw University.  Participants are responsible for lodging and transportation costs. Space is limited.


9:00 AM




MC Sim


Econ Chart and FRED

10:15 AM
10:30 AM

Comparative Statics

CS Wiz


Six Ways

Economic Growth

Maddison Data


1:00 PM

Consumer, Firm, S & D, and GE

Gauss-Markov via Simulation

Solow Model via Simulation

2:15 PM
2:30 PM
Working through a Chapter

Unequal Probability of Selection

4:00 PM
Open Exploration

Open Exploration

Open Exploration
6:00 PM
Closing Dinner


Express Interest and Apply

Email if you have questions or would like further information. Participants will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. You may wish to skip the last day if you are not interested in macroeconomics, although the two morning sessions can be easily incorporated into a wide variety of courses. Please let me know your plans when you contact me.

Previous workshops:

June 13 - 15, 2012

June 22 - 24, 2011

June 16 - 18, 2010