Brooks Depro, Katy Rouse author article on economic consulting capstone project

In an International Review of Economics Education article, the economics professors present a course-embedded undergraduate research project that utilizes the case method and is designed to prepare economics consulting students for their future careers.

Brooks Depro, assistant professor of economics, and Katy Rouse, associate professor of economics, recently co-authored the article “Adapting the case method in an economics capstone research course,” which was published in the International Review of Economics Education.

Brooks Depro and Katy Rouse
Assistant Professor Brooks Depro (left) and Associate Professor Katy Rouse

In the article, the authors present a project they developed for the Economic Consulting course, which serves as the capstone course for the Elon BSBA in Economic Consulting program. The authors illustrate how the traditional case method can be adapted for a course-embedded undergraduate research experience in economics.

“Student teams receive a case narrative that includes a real-world request for a proposal,” the authors explain in the article’s abstract. “In response, they must formulate a research question, identify and analyze appropriate data to address it, and prepare several business memorandums, a final proposal and an oral presentation to share their findings.

“We argue that while traditional undergraduate research helps students develop general data literacy and critical thinking skills, a case study format is better suited to simulate how these skills will be used once students enter their professional lives.”

Depro and Rouse received funding for their research from Elon’s 2018-19 Diversity and Inclusion Grant program and the 2021 Center for Advanced Teaching and Learning (CATL) Faculty Writing Residency program.