Nicole Simpson - Colgate University - Faculty Directory Skip Navigation

Colgate Directory

Nicole Simpson

Nicole Simpson

W. Bradford Wiley Professor of Economics; Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Initiatives
Ctr for International Programs, 101 McGregory Hall
p 315-228-7991
Nicole B. Simpson is the Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Initiatives and a Professor of Economics at Colgate University. She holds a BA in Economics from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Iowa. She has been at Colgate University since 2001. Between 2011-2012, she was named the Gretchen Hoadley Burke ’81 Endowed Chair in Regional Studies at Colgate. Since 2012, she has been a research fellow at IZA.

As the associate dean for international initiatives, Simpson works with partners around the world to develop meaningful research and teaching experiences for Colgate students and faculty. Among her responsibilities, Simpson oversees the Office of Off-Campus Study and the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs and chairs the Off-Campus Study Committee and Language Council at Colgate.

Simpson is an economist who works on issues related to immigration, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and education. Her current work has focused on studying the determinants of immigration, the impact of the EITC on labor supply when households face credit constraints, and the relationship between credit and college investment. Her work has been published in the Journal of Monetary Economics, Journal of Development Economics, American Economic Review, Southern Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Education and Contemporary Economic Policy. She recently published a textbook entitled the Economics of Immigration.

She teaches courses in macroeconomics, international economics, and poverty. For ten years, Simpson coordinated the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at Colgate, where students file income taxes for local low-income households. She was the faculty director for the London Economics Study Group in 2007 and 2011 and directed an extended study trip to Argentina with the Benton Scholars in May 2013. Professor Simpson also coordinated the first Fed Challenge team at Colgate in 2013, which competes in the New York District College Fed Challenge competition.


BA, University of St. Thomas, 1996; MA (1998), PhD (2001), University of Iowa

Teaching Experience

Intermediate Macroeconomics, Topics in International Economics (Open-Economy Macroeconomics), Applied Economic Theory, Causes and Consequences of Immigration (FSEM), Seminar in International Economics, Introduction to Economics, Economics of Poverty, Fed Challenge


Immigration, macroeconomics, the EITC, and education.
Nicole recently published an undergraduate textbook on the Economics of Immigration.


  • Simpson, N. 2017. "Demographic and economic determinants of migration,” IZA World of Labor, 373 doi: 10.15185/izawol.373
  • Ionescu, F. and N. Simpson. 2016. “Default risk and private student loans: Implications for higher education policies.”Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 64: 119-147.
  • Simpson, Nicole and Chad Sparber, 2013. “The Short- and Long-Run Determinants of Less-Educated Immigrant Flows into U.S. States.” Southern Economic Journal, 80(2): 414-438, October. Web appendix.
  • Betz, William  and Nicole Simpson, 2013. “The Effects of International Migration on the Well-Being of Native Populations in Europe,” IZA Journal of Migration 2:12.
  • de Araujo, P., R. O’Sullivan and N. Simpson, 2013. “What Should Be Taught in Intermediate Macroeconomics?”  Journal of Economic Education, 44(1), 74–90.
  • Polgreen, Linnea and Nicole Simpson, 2011. "Happiness and International Migration." Journal of Happiness Studies 12(5), 819-840.
  • Athreya, K, Reilly, D. and N. Simpson, 2010. “The Earned Income Tax Credit: Life-cycle Income, Marginal Tax Rates, Wealth and Credit Constraints.” Economic Quarterly, 96(3): 229-258.
  • Simpson, N., Hyde, J. and J. Tiefenthaler, 2010. "The Impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit on Economic Well-being: A Comparison across Household Types," Population Research and Policy Review, 29:843-864.
  • Mitchell, D., Rebelein, R., Schneider, P., Simpson, N. and E. Fisher. 2010. "A Classroom Experiment on Exchange Rate Determination with Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Economic Education, 40(2), 150-165.
  • Fairchild, Stephen and Nicole B. Simpson, 2007. "A Comparison of Mexican Migrant Remittances across U.S. Regions," Contemporary Economic Policy, 26(3), 360-379.
  • Simpson, Nicole B., Blankenau, William F. and Marc Tomljanovich, 2007. "Public Education Expenditures, Taxation and Growth: Linking Data to Theory," American Economic Review, 97(2), 393-97.
  • Simpson, Nicole B. and Kartik B. Athreya, 2006. "Unsecured Debt with Public Insurance: From Bad to Worse," Journal of Monetary Economics, 53(4), 797-825.
  • Simpson, Nicole B. and Linnea Polgreen, 2006. "Recent Trends in the Skill Composition of Legal Immigrants," Southern Economic Journal, 72(4), 938-57.
  • Simpson, Nicole B., Georgiev, George and Marc I. Tomljanovich, 2005. "Macroeconomic Fundamentals and Net Portfolio Investment between Developed Regions," International Finance, 8(2), 303-27.
  • Simpson, Nicole B. and William F. Blankeneau, 2004. "Public Education Expenditures and Growth," Journal of Development Economics 73(2), 583-605.
  • Simpson, Nicole B., and Stephen Fairchild, 2004. "Mexican Migration to the United States Pacific Northwest," Population Research and Policy Review 23(3), 219-34.

Invited Chapters

    • Bodvarsson, O., N. Simpson and C. Sparber, 2015. "Migration Theory: Determinants of Immigration." Handbook on the Economics of International Migration. Editors: Barry Chiswick and Paul Miller, Elsevier Inc.
    • Simpson, Nicole, 2014. “Families, Taxes and the Welfare System,” Family Economics: How Households Impact Markets and Economic Growth. Editor: Esther Redmount, ABC-CLIO. pp. 59-92.
    • Simpson, Nicole, 2013. “Happiness and Migration,” International Handbook on the Economics of Migration, Editors: Klaus F. Zimmermann and Amelie F. Constant, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

    Professional Experience

    Referee: National Science Foundation, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Journal of Population Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Canadian Journal of Economics, Southern, Economic Journal, Economic Letters, Journal of Economics Education, Economic Inquiry, Contemporary Economic Policy, Economics of Education Review, Journal of Economics and Business, International Migration, China Economic Review, Migration Studies, Journal of Socio-Economics, IZA Journal of Migration, and International Migration Review.

    Membership in: Omicron Delta Epsilon, Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, American Economic Association