Jay Corrigan joined Kenyon's Department of Economics in 2002 after completing his Ph.D. at Iowa State University. His research focuses on the value people place on new products. Corrigan has estimated the premium American shoppers are willing to pay for "Fair Trade Certified" products, the value Filipino consumers place on genetically modified "golden rice," and the impact graphic warning labels have on smokers' demand for cigarettes. Corrigan's research on the value of Facebook was named in the Washington Post as one of the ten best works on political economy of 2018.  

Corrigan is a winner of Kenyon's Trustee Teaching Excellence Award, and the Princeton Review named him one of America's best college professors.

Areas of Expertise

Experimental and behavioral economics, agricultural economics, environmental and resource economics.


2002 — Doctor of Philosophy from Iowa State University

1997 — Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College

Courses Recently Taught

This course studies issues of economic choice, economic efficiency and social welfare. The course presents theories of consumer and producer behavior and shows how these theories can be used to predict the consequences of individual, business and government actions. Topics covered include opportunity cost; the gains from trade; supply and demand analysis; taxes; externalities; price controls; consumer choice; production and cost; product pricing and market structure. This course is required for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every fall semester.

This course studies national economic performance. Building upon the microeconomic theories of consumer and producer behavior developed in ECON 101, the course introduces models that focus on the questions of unemployment, inflation and growth. Topics covered include measurement of national income and inflation, macroeconomic models, saving and investment, money and banking, fiscal and monetary policy, and international trade and finance. This course is required for economics majors. Prerequisite: ECON 101. Offered every spring semester.

Game theory is the study of strategic interactions between parties. In this class, we will discuss normal and extensive form games, dominant strategies, Nash equilibria with pure and mixed strategies, and incentive compatibility. We will also discuss applications to economic decision-making, biology, bargaining and negotiation, and political science. We will demonstrate many of these applications using in-class games with real cash incentives. Prerequisite: ECON 101 and 102. Generally offered every year.

Economists outnumber other social scientists in Washington and they receive more media attention than all other social scientists combined. What has this meant for public policy? Because most economists believe competitive markets made up of fully informed, rational actors naturally lead to efficient outcomes, economists working in public policy have favored programs that make markets more competitive or improve access to information. But what if people aren’t rational? What if our behavior is consistently at odds with the predictions of economic theory? What if we consistently make choices that aren’t in our long-run self-interest? In this course, we’ll draw on research from economics and psychology to construct models of human behavior that account for this kind of “irrationality.” We’ll go on to study public policies that incorporate these behavioral economic insights. The ultimate objective is for you to use what you’ve learned about behavioral economics to develop your own alternative approach to a public policy challenge at the local, state, national, or international level. This counts toward the seminar requirement for the major. Prerequisite: ECON 101 and 102. Generally offered every other year.

This seminar examines the use of laboratory and field experiments to study economic and social science behavior. We will consider issues relating to the design of experiments, including the use of laboratory versus field methods, financial incentives, control conditions and statistical analysis. We will study several types of economic experiments, including auctions, bargaining, dictator and ultimatum games, games in environmental economics, public goods allocation and voting games. This counts toward the seminar requirement for the major. Prerequisite: ECON 101 and 102. Generally offered every year.