Research Experiences


At Furman, meaningful undergraduate research experiences in economics are characterized by independent inquiry, integration of disciplinary knowledge, collection and management of data, development of econometric skills, and presentation to a wide audience.  We provide multiple ways for students to gain experience with research.

ECN 331: Empirical Methods in Economics

Every student in ECN 331 will complete a semester-long independent research project.  This involves students choosing their own research question, collecting data, performing a literature review, conducting econometric analysis, and presenting results in both visual (poster) and written form (paper).  The project involves feedback through meetings with the professor, interaction via a poster session, and a written peer review.  As ECN 331 is a required course for both the Economics and Mathematics-Economics major, we are thus able to guarantee that every major in our department has experience conducting an independent research project.

Hollingsworth Undergraduate Research Program

This summer research program is designed to encourage collaborative research between faculty and students. All Furman students are eligible, but priority is given to economics or mathematics-economics majors.

Each research team consists of one or two faculty members and one to three students. Projects are conceived by the students in consultation with faculty, or they may originate with the faculty member. Participating students are given a stipend to work full-time over the summer on their research project.  The ability to dedicate an entire summer to a research question allows students to connect deeply with an area of interest, invest in quality data collection, and learn advanced econometric techniques.

At the end of the summer, student participants draft a paper to present the results of their research at one or more seminars on the Furman campus during the subsequent academic year. Students also submit their results for presentation at an appropriate conference and/or for publication in an appropriate journal.

Past Hollingsworth Undergraduate Research projects include:

Summer 2016

Summer 2017

Summer 2018

Summer 2019

  • Nicole Greenfield, Emma Sanning, and Riley Burr: “Impact of Paid Parental Leave on Breastfeeding Rates in the United States”
  • Will Greisner, Karl Nichols, and Jackson Robinson: “The Effects of Gap Years: Analyzing the Effect of Delayed Master’s Enrollment on Future Earnings”

Summer 2020

  • Kenneth Giraldo and Yuhan You: “Convergence and economic growth: does income inequality matter?”
  • Claire Conzelmann, Dunbar Myrick, and Anna Ford Pittard: “The Impact of High Tide Flooding on Income Inequality in East and Gulf Coast Counties of the United States”
  • Quinn Funke, Emma Kuntz, and Meng Zhou: “Environmental Justice: Spatial Distribution of Air Pollution, Income and Race”

Summer 2021

  • Cabot Fowler and Lindsey Diehl: “The marital wage premium in the 21st century labor market”
  • Mac Roberts, Kendall Estep, and Ben El Wardany: “The effects of COVID19 on the economy”

Other Research Opportunities

Faculty in the department sometimes seek out a paid research assistant to help on a specific project.  Since faculty’s academic research sometimes takes years to complete, students may be hired to work on different stages of the process from literature review to data collection to data cleaning to analysis.  As opportunities become available, emails are sent out to all majors to solicit interest.