Carnegie Mellon University
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Ph.D. Program in Economics

Graduates have exceptional research training in economic theory and the quantitative tools required for innovative research on complex economic problems.

The purpose of the Ph.D. program in Economics is to educate scientists who will advance the frontiers of economic knowledge through research and teaching.

The program is designed to provide students with sound training in economic theory, and the quantitative tools required for innovative research on economic problems. Equally important, the program is structured to allow students both time and guidance for research activities.


The goal of the doctoral program in economics is to help students learn to do original, creative research. Unlike most graduate programs in economics, we have chosen not to impose rigid course requirements on students. Instead, we emphasize involving students in research early in their graduate careers. Students in the doctoral program in economics at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon take courses in order to learn the fundamental principles of economic theory underlying all areas of application, and to master the analytic and modeling techniques of the practicing research economist. In-depth knowledge of specialized areas is required as a by-product of research activity.

At the completion of the Ph.D. program in economics at the Tepper School, a student should have mastered the fundamental principles of economic theory and the quantitative tools required for basic and applied research. Additionally, the student should have attained a level of skill in research techniques which will serve as the basis for continued self-development.

  • Students are expected to obtain knowledge of substantive research areas by taking elective courses, attending and participating in seminars, working with the faculty, and reading research papers.
  • Students are urged to actively involve themselves in the intellectual life of the school.
  • Seminars are a fundamental mechanism for exchange of information throughout the profession, and they are an essential professional activity of a successful research economist.
  • Students should plan to attend weekly seminars throughout their stay at the business school.

Research Topics

  • Real Business Cycles
  • Expectations and Indeterminacy of Monetary Equilibrian Experimental Economies
  • Consistent Incentive Mechanism (Contract) Design
  • Corporate Financial Policy Under Asymmetric Information
  • Bargaining Foundations of Product Innovation
  • Variation in Wages and Hours of Work Over the Business Cycle
  • Individual Adjustment to Changing Labor Markets
  • The Distribution of Income Within and Across Households
  • The Results of Deregulation
  • Macroeconomic Policy
  • International Trade Policy
  • Female Labor Supply and Fertility
  • The Economics Behind Marketing "New and Improving" Products
  • Risk Analysis and Management
  • Estimation and Inference for Dynamic Economic Models
  • The Duration of Interorganizational Relationships
  • The Endogeneity of Appropriability and R&D Investment
  • Takeovers

Please visit our Ph.D. Student Profiles page to view the profiles of our current doctoral candidates.