Erika Martinez

Senior Instructor


Office: CMC 208J
Phone: (813) 974-6509


Erika Martinez is an Instructor in the Department of Economics at the University of South Florida. She earned her Ph.D. and Master's degree in economics from Duke University in 2011 and 2007, respectively, and her bachelor's degree from the University of Florida in 2004. She has also held teaching positions at Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Elon University. Her teaching includes, but is not limited to: Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Intermediate Price Theory, Advanced Microeconomic Theory, and Economics of Education. She is also the co-leader of the study abroad program USF Peru Climate Change.

Dr. Martinez conducts research on various educational issues from school accountability and standards to early childhood development. Her research projects have involved conducting a large-scale study of school accountability implications in North Carolina, using state-wide data on public schools and the housing market; and following children from grade K-2 through their school career to evaluate early childhood programs through the American Association for Gifted Children at Duke University. She is also a member of the American Economic Association and the National Economics Association. In her free time, Dr. Martinez enjoys spending time with her two daughters, traveling, Latin dancing and playing sports; including wakeboarding, basketball, softball, football, and motorcycle riding.


I have come to believe the most effective teaching methodology includes encouraging conceptual and critical thinking to examine issues through discussions, debates, and written reflection. Using students’ own experiences as a learning tool transforms the learning experience from a passive to an active process.

I express to students that the skills learned in economics courses have valuable applications not only in business, finance, or public policy but also throughout their everyday lives. All too often students attend their first economics class with the preconception that the course will be too demanding, boring, and not relatable. It becomes crucial to find ways to make economics accessible without losing its rigor. I am convinced the best way to do this is by engaging students and relating the materials to events that arise in the real world. This creates a learning context in which students become critically engaged in the course materials and begin to take ownership of the learning process.