Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Economics

The School of Economics will start its PhD program with a major in Economics in August 2010. The program is unique in its focus on the common globalization and innovation issues that interconnect environmental economics, industrial organization and international economics. It emphasizes the economic forces that generate the impetus for individuals to compete globally and analyzes the interrelated effects that these forces have on the environment, international trade, and the behavior of firms in a variety of industrial sectors in the U.S. In the new millennium, globalization and creative activity, as fundamental precursors and outputs of industrial activities, have important implications for environmental, trade, and industrial policies. Policy changes in one arena (e.g. trade) may have significant effects in other areas (e.g. environment, antitrust). There is an increasing demand for PhD economists who have the training and skill sets to carefully think through these issues. Our doctoral program will prepare students to meet this increasing demand, qualifying them for positions in academia, private and public sectors.

Our curriculum features 27 credit hours of first year core courses, at least twenty-one credit hours of fields, electives and workshop, at least 18 credit hours of departmental seminars and at least thirty-three credit hours of dissertation research (see Requirements tab). Thus, the minimum number of credit hours to be fulfilled is 99. Students receive rigorous training in microeconomic theory and quantitative methods during their first year of study. Our first year core coursework also features a two-course sequence in the economics of innovation. This cluster is designed to teach students the key microeconomic and macroeconomic foundations of innovation.

 

Planned Curriculum and Sample Schedule

(with course numbers)

With the exception of the two-course sequence in the economics of innovation, our core courses are standard.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredit Hours
ECON 7004 Mathematics for Economists (July-August) 1 3
ECON 7012 Microeconomic Theory I 2 3
ECON 7022 Econometrics I 3
ECON 7015 Game Theory 3 3
Quantitiative Methods Course 3
Statistics Two Course Sequence 6
Elective 3
 Credit Hours24
Spring
ECON 7013 Microeconomic Theory II 2 3
ECON 7023 Econometrics II 3
ECON 7031 Microeconomics of Innovation 4 3
ECON 7032 Macroeconomics of Innovation 5 3
Quantitiative Methods Course 3
Econometrics Two Course Sequence 6
 Credit Hours21
Second Year
Fall
Major Economics Field, Course I 3
Minor Economics Field, Course I 3
Empirical Research Methods 3
Seminar 3
Quantitiative Methods Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
Major Economics Field, Course II 3
Minor Economics Field, Course II 3
Elective 3
Seminar 3
 Credit Hours12
Third Year
Fall
ECON 7130 Research Development and Presentation Workshop 3
Dissertation Research 3
Seminar 3
 Credit Hours9
Spring
Dissertation Research 3
Seminar 3
 Credit Hours6
Fourth Year
Fall
Dissertation Research 3
Seminar 3
 Credit Hours6
Spring
Dissertation Research 3
Seminar 3
 Credit Hours6
 Total Credit Hours99
1

ECON 7004 introduces students to the core coursework. This is an intensive three-week course, offered to students during July-August, ending in the week before the start of the fall semester. The main goal of this course is to provide students with the necessary quantitative skills to perform well in the subsequent core coursework.

2

ECON 7012 and ECON 7013 cover standard topics in microeconomics.

3

ECON 7015 complements the knowledge in microeconomics and examines static and dynamic games of complete and incomplete information. 

4

In ECON 7031, students will be taught the microeconomic theoretical concepts, techniques and reasoning that underlie innovation processes.

5

In ECON 7032, students will learn the macroeconomic factors that lead to technological change, the roles played by technological innovation and knowledge spillovers as promoters of economic growth, and the scope for fiscal and monetary policies to foment research and development and hence economic growth. 

We offer three specialization fields

  • Environmental Economics,
  • Industrial Organization and
  • International Economics.

Our fields build on our set of core courses, providing students with opportunities to explore research topics within three distinct but related areas while simultaneously preserving and enhancing our program’s focus on globalization and innovation. Each field shares globalization and innovation as a “common language,” since a substantial share of its content pertains to the importance played by globalization and innovation within the field. Each field provides an equal mix of theory and practice, consisting of two 3 credit hour courses.

Students are required to have a major and at least one minor in fields offered by the Department of Economics. Occasionally, the Department of Economics will offer elective courses that complement our field courses. In addition, students are allowed to take elective courses outside of Economics subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. A set of elective courses taken in another discipline will constitute a minor in that particular discipline if at least two courses are taken from this discipline.

The goals of the Research Development & Presentation Workshop are threefold.

  1. First, the workshop provides an extra incentive for students to start working early on the topic of their third year paper, since students present papers closely related to their third year papers to peers and the instructor.
  2. Second, the workshop provides each student with regular feedback from the instructor and peers on the student’s ability to deliver lectures.
  3. Third, the workshop serves the purpose of enhancing the student’s ability of writing a research paper. Students will not only present papers closely related to their own, but will also discuss papers presented by peers, evaluate their peers regarding presentation skills and present the first drafts of their third year papers at the end of the term.

School Seminars provide students with an opportunity to get involved in the research life of the Department. They also enable students to start acquiring key presentation skills. Each student is required to attend all School seminars each semester, starting in the fall semester of the second year. The Director of Graduate Studies will keep an attendance list, and students will have to submit weekly reports summarizing the papers presented. Absences will have to be justified in writing – copies of such documents are kept in the student’s file together with other student records. Absences may affect the student’s eligibility for funding or the amount of funding in the subsequent semester. At the end of each semester, the Director of Graduate Studies will evaluate the students’ performances and issue “pass” or “no pass” grades. Those who receive pass grades will earn three credits. Each student must earn a minimum of 18 Seminar credit hours to graduate.

In addition to the School Seminar, students must also register each semester for Dissertation Research, starting in the fall semester of the third year. In such a semester, students must register for at least six credit hours of Dissertation Research. In every subsequent semester, students must register for at least nine credit hours of Dissertation Research. Students must complete a minimum of 33 Dissertation Research credit hours to graduate.