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Business students travel to Chicago to explore urban economics

Sixteen Martha and Spencer Love School of Business students traveled to Chicago on Nov. 7 for a one-day trip to explore what they have been learning in their ECO440: Urban Economics course.

The Urban Economics class in front of the public sculpture Cloud Gate.

Thomas Tiemann, Jefferson Pilot Professor of Economics, led the trip. He had three main objectives for the students:

  • To see that a city is the center of commerce, culture and population;
  • To see that cities are vibrant and are places where face-to-face diversity makes for more productivity; and
  • To see the gradient of the city – how the density and height of the buildings rise as you go towards the center of the city.

The students visited the Chicago Board of Trade where they were hosted by Elon parent Ed Maxwell, who took them down to the trading floor. They also visited the Chicago Green Technology Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and the Willis Tower Skydeck. The group rode the L train to get around the city, which allowed them to see many things in action that they had discussed in class.

“Chicago was a great experience,” said senior Alex Spitz. “it was interesting to look at the city from a 'planning' perspective, and to see how the city and culture has evolved because of it. I enjoyed going to the Board of Trade - there's a lot of history there, and it was interesting to see the buyers and sellers trading commodities.”

Senior Gregory Nantz said, “The class trip to Chicago created a real world lens through which we could observe many of the phenomena that we had learned about in class: agglomeration, the wage-transportation cost tradeoff and other theories came to life as we toured the city. It was an Elon experience that I will never forget.”

The trip was funded by the LSB, Student Government Association and the Department of Economics.

Alyssa Baxter,
11/15/2012 9:24 AM