As of July of 2020, the IDEAS ranking of the research productivity of all US economics departments ranked the Williams College 45th overall, well above all other liberal arts college economics departments, and above many well-regarded research universities. A 2016 study found that the Williams College economics department ranked first in terms of citations to its research among economics departments at all liberal arts colleges, with more than twice as many citations as the second-ranked department. Williams was also at or near the top of rankings of research productivity of liberal arts college economics departments in studies published in 2008, and 1997. We have an active seminar series where department members and economists from other institutions present their research. The department maintains three working paper series, including a general departmental series, and specialized series on development economics and topics in the economics of higher education.
The department is part of Northeast Universities Development Consortium (NEUDC), a major forum for the field of development economics, and has occasionally hosted the annual NEUDC conference.