Skip to Main Content

Academics - Economics Faculty & Staff

Academics - Economics Faculty & Staff

Frank M. Howland

Professor of Economics, John W. Bachmann/Edward Jones Chair in Economics and Leadership


Baxter Hall 131

Picture of Howland, Frank M.

Dr. Howland was born in Boston, but raised in many places, including Philadelphia, Long Island, Iowa City, Chicago, Germany, and finally Ithaca, New York, Dr. Howland is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B., 1980) and Stanford University (Ph.D., 1988). He has taught in the Economics Department at Wabash College since the Fall of 1988. At Wabash, Dr. Howland has served as Secretary of the Faculty (2004-2010) and, since 2009, as Chair of the Economics Department. Dr. Howland loves to travel: he and his family (spouse Elizabeth Justice, a local attorney, and three daughters) spent a memorable year near Madrid Spain on sabbatical in 1995-96. More recently Dr. Howland has visited Jerusalem, Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, London, Paris, and Provence, France. This summer (August 2011) he is off to Peru with Dr. Eric Wetzel’s Global Health class. Dr. Howland is an avid tennis player; sadly he started playing as an adult and he doesn’t quite make up in enthusiasm, good reflexes, and speed what he lacks in athleticism and muscle memory. Dr. Howland’s approach to German and Spanish is similar, but he plays tennis better than he speaks foreign languages. Dr. Howland lives about ¾ of a mile from campus and walks or bikes to work almost every day.

Much of Dr. Howland’s scholarly work has been devoted to using spreadsheets to improving the teaching of quantitative methods and theoretical models in Economics.Together with Humberto (Bert) Barreto, Dr. Howland coauthored Introductory Econometrics: Using Monte Carlo Simulation with Microsoft Excel (Cambridge University Press, 2006). The numerous Excel workbook and add-ins included in the book (see ) use Visual Basic macros to teach difficult statistical concepts in ways which give undergraduates a much better chance of actually learning them. Together with another Wabash colleague, Dr. Kealoha Widdows, Drs. Howland and Barreto designed a course and book which teach optimization via Microsoft Excel, again using Visual Basic macros.  

Dr. Howland is especially interested in financial markets and health economics. In fall semester 2009, he and Dr. Peter Mikek taught two sections of the Economics Senior Seminar on the recent Financial Crisis and Dr. Howland has spoken various times on the Financial Crisis. In the fall semester, 2011, Dr. Howland will teach a Health Economics course for the first time; this is one of the reasons he is joining Dr. Wetzel’s class on a trip to observe health delivery and health issues in Peru this August. 


Ph.D, Stanford University, 1988
A.B., Harvard College, 1980



ECO 331 - Economics of the Public Sector
ECO 277 - Health Economics
ECO 251/ DIV III 252 - Optimization with Microsoft Excel/Statistics


ECO 262 - Financial Markets and Institutions
ECO 361 - Corporate Finance
ECO 253 - Introduction to Econometrics


ECO 401 - Senior Seminar in Economics
ECO 101 - Principles of Economics
ECO 353 - Advanced Econometrics
ECO 291 - Intermediate Microeconomics


Wabash College Social Science Colloquium, “Economists’ Views of Progress.” March 12, 2007 

Wabash College Ides of August,“School Finance Equalization and Property Taxes in Indiana.” August 17, 2007 

Wabash College Social Science Colloquium “What is Going On? Global Financial Turmoil”, October 8, 2008

Wabash College Social Science Colloquium, “Update on the Financial Crisis” (with Peter Mikek), February 11, 2010