• Contact Info

Mertens, Billy Senior Instructor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Dr. Mertens' research interests are in the fields of public choice economics, international trade and the education of economics. He has examined the political effects of international political economic sanctions policies, particularly as applied to dictatorships. He has also conducted a public choice analysis of the motivations behind uses of different immigration policies, and more recently he is focused on research into the pedagogy of economics.


  • public choice economics, institutional political economy, international trade, economic education


courses taught

  • ECON 2010 - Principles of Microeconomics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Summer 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Summer 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Summer 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Summer 2021 / Fall 2021
    Examines basic concepts of microeconomics or the behavior and the interactions of individuals, firms and government. Topics include determining economic problems, how consumers and businesses make decisions, how markets work, and how they fail and how government actions affect markets.
  • ECON 4221 - Political and Public Choice Economics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021
    Explores decision-making in non-traditional market settings, specifically political market settings, using economic models. We investigate policy outcomes as the product of interactions among individuals in politial markets, and analyze how governmental decisions are the result of rational optimizing behavior, even if they do not lead to policies that maximize national welfare.
  • ECON 4413 - International Trade
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2018 / Summer 2019 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021
    Focuses on theories of international trade and its impacts on economic welfare. Analyzes commercial policy, including tariffs, non-tariff barriers, retaliation, regional integration, and factor migration.
  • ECON 4535 - Natural Resource Economics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021
    Analysis of problems associated with socially optimal use of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources over time. Problems of common property resources, irreversible forms of development, and preservation of natural areas. Degree credit not granted for this course and ECON 3535.
  • ECON 4808 - Introduction to Mathematical Economics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020
    Introduces the use of mathematics in economics. Topics include vectors and matrices, differential calculus, and optimization theory, with economic applications.
  • ECON 4818 - Introduction to Econometrics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2019
    Provides undergraduate economics majors with an introduction to econometric theory and practice. Develops the multiple regression model and problems encountered in its application in lecture and individual applied projects.
  • ECON 4939 - Internship/Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2019 / Summer 2021
    Offers students the opportunity to integrate theoretical concepts of economics with practical experience in economics-related institutions. The theoretical portion arises from seminars and readings, the practical from activities in organizations related to the economics field. A maximum of 3 credit hours counts toward major requirements. Department consent required.


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