Omicron Delta Epsilon

Omicron Delta Epsilon is the international economics honor society. We have had a chapter at Villanova since 1967. The society is open to all juniors and seniors having an overall grade point average of 3.5 or better, as well as a grade point average of 3.5 or better in the economic courses taken. Eligible students must have completed a minimum of four economics courses. All students who meet these minimum requirements are invited to contact the faculty advisor (Dr. Clain, 610-519-6556, for more information on how to apply for ODE membership.


Recent Events


Undergraduate Research

The ODE 25th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference in Business and Economics was  held on Friday, April 25, 2014, at Ursinus College. Students from area undergraduate institutions, including Villanova University, presented and discussed their research in concurrent morning sessions. A luncheon followed the morning sessions.  Four Villanova students writing senior theses under the direction of Dr. Peter Zaleski participated in this event in 2014.

Last spring, the Villanova University Department of Economics once again conducted the student research paper competition known as the Adam Smith Contest.  The winner in the 2013-2014 Adam Smith Contest was Alex Evans '14 (for his paper entitled "Nascent Entrepreneurship and Employment Choice in Japan: Insititutional Barriers to Generating Entrepreneurial Growth").  James Tighe '13 ("Investigating the manner in which the USA utilizes bilateral aid to achieve geopolitical interests: commitments versus disbursements") was chosen as second-place winner and Alexander Hewitt '14 ("Impact of Aid on Democracy by Region of the World") received honorable mention.  First- and second-place winners received cash awards of $2000 and $1000, respectively, while the honorable-mention winner received a cash award of $500. These finalists presented their papers at a luncheon on April 11, 2014.  The 2013-2014 Adam Smith Contest was funded by a gift from John Haines (A&S 79).  Congratulations to these winners!  Many thanks to all who entered their work in the competition.

The paper that wins first place in the Adam Smith Contest is usually entered into the national ODE undergraduate research paper competition, the Taussig competition (  Three Adam Smith contest winners have gone on to win the Taussig award in the past. 

In December 2013, it was announced that Thomas Griffin '13 was awarded third place in the 2013 Frank Taussig Award competition. Tom was the winner of the 2012-2013 Adam Smith Contest; he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at Northeastern University.  Congratulations to Tom!

In January 2011, Kathryn Nantz, then Vice President of Competitions for Omicron Delta Epsilon, announced that the winner of the Frank W. Taussig Article Award for 2010-2011 was Kelley Bergsma '10, for her paper entitled "Does Offering Microsavings Make Sense for Microfinance Institutions?". In addition to generating more prize money, Ms. Bergsma's prize-winning paper became eligible for submission for publication in The American Economist; the paper appeared in the Fall 2011 issue of the journal.  Additionally, the Villanova University chapter of ODE was awarded $200, which was donated to Opportunity International ( in Ms. Bergsma's honor.

Matthew Nespoli '04 won the 2006 Taussig Award for his paper entitled "Infrastructure Privatization in Latin America: A Medium Term Analysis".  At that time, the $200 award to the Villanova University chapter of ODE was donated to Water for Waslala (; Nespoli has been President and Founder of Water for Waslala since 2004.  He is received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2012.

Jonathan Klick '97 was the 1997 winner of the Taussig Award, for his paper entitled "Do Dollars Make a Difference?  The Relationship Between Expenditures and Test Scores in Pennsylvania's Public Schools" (The American Economist, Vol. 44, No. 1, Spring 2000, pp. 81-87)  Klick, who went on to complete both an economics Ph.D. and a J.D. at George Mason University, is now Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania.  (

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