The course of study in the first year includes:
In their second year, students will complete field courses in economics and in partner schools. We have crafted interdisciplinary fields of study so that students can draw from the expertise of faculty in Economics as well as our partner schools. The four fields of concentration are:
The public finance and public policy field will combine the study of public finance and the economics of the firm with the study of financial economics and corporate finance. The field will draw upon the Economics Department's expertise in public finance, firm organization, and corporate governance, and the Freeman School of Business's expertise in finance. Students will:
Coursework in economics will consist of three courses: public finance I (which includes the economics of taxation), economics of the firm I, and an elective in either economics of the firm II (which includes topics in corporate governance) or public finance II (which includes public expenditures and special topics). Coursework for a specialization in finance will consist of three courses in the School of Business: Finance Theory I, Finance Theory II, and an elective in either empirical corporate finance or empirical financial markets.
Students who focus on Economics, Finance, and Public Policy research will be gaining a unique, interdisciplinary foundation for the integration of specialized knowledge in economics with that in finance. By creating a program that allows students to combine the study of public finance and economics of the firm within Economics with the study of corporate finance within the School of Business, all with a strong international focus, our graduates will have a broader range of job prospects and potentially higher starting salaries than graduates from more traditional economics programs.
The inequality and poverty field will focus on the market and non-market determinants of inequality and poverty and successful policies to address them. This field builds on the Economics Department's strength and expertise in development economics and the economics of taxes and public spending as well as the expertise of our partners in the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Center for Inter American Policy and Research, the Department of Political Science, and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Students will learn how to conduct both comparative and country-specific poverty and inequality analyses and will acquire important institutional knowledge about the context of these issues from our cross campus partnerships. Students who pursue this field will:
The economics of inequality and poverty have taken center stage in the field of Development Economics as an increasing number of scholars, academic publications, and research centers have become devoted to this subject. There has been a sharp increase in the collection of poverty and inequality data. Many countries now implement controlled experiments to test the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs. There are new dedicated journals to the subject: e.g., the Journal of Economic Inequality and Poverty and Public Policy. Yet, few economics Ph.D. programs require (or even encourage) their students to acquire context-specific expertise about the geographical, political, cultural, and social characteristics of the countries that are the subject of empirical analysis. As such, academic institutions, international organizations, and national governments throughout the world have a high demand for students who have both quantitative skills and institutional knowledge about the causes of poverty and inequality.
Coursework for this field would include three courses in Economics: (i) a standard Development Economics course; (ii) a specialized field course on the economics of inequality and poverty; and (iii) an elective that relates to the student's dissertation topic, such as economics of education, economics of gender, health economics, labor economics (including migration), public finance, or the economics of inequality and poverty in a specific region (e.g., Latin America). Outside of Economics, students will take at least two courses and an independent study with of one of our cross-campus partners. There is potential for collaborative initiatives with partner academic and non-academic institutions in and outside the United States. Furthermore, our program will provide graduate students pursuing dissertation research with connections (established by faculty) to selected centers/institutes abroad including Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City; GRADE, Lima, Peru; and Universidad Nacional de La Plata and Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The combination of rigorous quantitative skills with practical, context-specific knowledge from our cross campus and external partners is what distinguishes our program from others. We believe this combination of skills to be extremely desirable in the job market, especially by international organizations (such as the UN system, the World Bank and regional development banks), specialized research institutions, academics, NGOs, think-tanks, and government agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
The health and human capital field will focus on the complex relationship between health, human capital, and health policy. This field will draw from the Economics Department's strength in health and labor economics, and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine's expertise in health institutions and health policy. Students will gain the skills necessary to conduct empirical research that explores the mechanisms and policies that impact both health outcomes and human-capital outcomes. Students who pursue this field will:
Field coursework will include three courses in Economics plus three or more electives outside of Economics. In Economics, the first course will focus on theory and empirical methods of health and human-capital research. The second course will examine topical research in health economics with a focus on health policy. The third course will focus on topical research that explores the link between health and human capital. Outside of Economics, students will be able to choose from a diverse set of elective courses in public health to complement their economics training. Elective courses (see sample coursework) offered by the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine will provide students with specialized skills or greater institutional knowledge of U.S. or global health systems and policy.
This unique interdisciplinary training should help distinguish our graduates from those in more traditional programs and increase their chances of securing prominent job placements. Students who focus on health and human capital research will be gaining tools to enter academia, government, and the private or non-profit sectors. In addition, by forging formal relationships with the faculty in both Economics and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, our graduates will learn about a broader range of the job opportunities for economists in health-related fields.
The environmental economics and policy field will focus on the complex relationships between the environment, the economy, and public policy. Economic activity is responsible for pollution generation, energy use, natural resource extraction, and changes in ecosystem services. Policy solutions to environmental and natural resource challenges must satisfy scientific and economic objectives. And resource and regulatory constraints influence economic outcomes. Students who pursue this field will gain the skills necessary to empirically and theoretically explore these interactions. Students in this area will:
Coursework will include three courses in Economics and more electives outside of Economics. In Economics, the first course will investigate environmental and natural resource theory. The second course will examine empirical environmental policy evaluation. Topics in both courses will include market failure, pollution control instruments, environmental valuation, regulation and enforcement, renewable resource use (forest and fisheries), non-renewable resource use (minerals, water and land), and energy economics. The third course will focus on special topics like the economics of climate change. Environmental and natural resource issues are inherently interdisciplinary, and students will be able to choose electives from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and other campus partners. This will enable students to better understand the science underpinning the economic analysis and policy outcomes.
Students who focus on environmental economics and policy will be gaining tools to enter academia, international NGOs, and government agencies.
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