Faculty and Fields of Study
We have a distinguished and large faculty that allows us to offer a wide range of major fields, including comparative institutional economics, development, econometrics, economic history, industrial organization, international trade and finance, labor economics, microeconomic theory, macroeconomics, political economy, public economics, and resource and environmental economics. The department offers supporting courses in applied econometrics and computational economics, which allow students from a variety of fields to develop research tools. We also have faculty and a new lab to support student research in behavioral and experimental economics. We have a working relationship with other departments on campus that allow our students to take courses in related fields not offered by our department, such as finance and demography.
While students can choose any pair of major and minor fields offered by the department, some fields share common tools or topics and are thus natural complements. Most of our research workshops are run jointly by two or more complementary fields. We present information on these broader categories below. For a full list of faculty, with links to website and other information, click here. For more information about courses and requirements for a particular field, click on the field links below.
Development, Trade, Institutions, and Political Economy
Students in these fields study how policies and institutions are formed and how, in turn, they affect the process of economic development, especially in emerging markets. These fields jointly present the Monday afternoon workshop in development, trade, institutions and political economy (also known as the DTIP workshop). Faculty in DTIP include Peter Coughlin, Allan Drazen, Rafael Dix-Carneiro, Ethan Kaplan, Nuno Limao, Peter Murrell, Razvan Vlaicu, and John Wallis. Recent faculty research in DTIP covers topics including the impact of higher contraceptive prices in Indonesia, whether aiding civil society helps foster the development of effective economic institutions, the effect of dispersion of political power on public spending, and why governments often choose inefficient redistributive policies.
Students and faculty in these fields, especially development, benefit from the Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC), a multidisciplinary center dedicated to economic demography and other population-related research.
Students in econometrics gain the tools to do high quality empirical work. A deep understanding of econometric concepts and methods is important, since publication in many top journals requires that applied researchers have a strong command of frontier level econometric techniques and often also an ability to push the envelope in terms of econometric techniques. Thus it is important that applied students, as well as those planning to work in theoretical econometrics, gain a very solid foundation in econometric theory. Currently Maryland has two Associate Editors of the Journal of Econometrics, and two Associate Editors at Econometric Theory, and a Co-editor at the Journal of Applied Econometrics. Faculty in econometrics organize the Monday afternoon workshop in econometrics and include John Chao, John Ham, and Ingmar Prucha; some also are active participants in the labor/public economics workshop and the development workshop. Recent faculty research in econometrics investigates the properties of instrumental variable estimators with many instruments, estimation of Markov decision processes, Bayesian estimation and model selection methods, spatial and cross sectional interaction models, dynamic panel data models, GMM and ML estimation of cross sectionally dependent processes, program evaluation, propensity score methods, multi-state, multi-spell duration models with unobserved heterogeneity, estimation of fully structural models based on optimizing behavior, econometric analysis of data from laboratory and field experiments, applied econometric research with particular emphasis on computationally intensive statistical methods.
Labor Economics and Public Economics
Students in labor and public economics (including environmental and natural resource economics) learn the theoretical and empirical tools needed to assess household behavior and the impact of government policies on households. These fields jointly organize the Thursday afternoon workshop in labor and public economics. Faculty in labor and public include Sebastian Galiani, Jessica Goldberg, Raymond Guiteras, John Ham, Judy Hellerstein, Melissa Kearney, Soohyung Lee, Robert Schwab, Lesley Turner, and Sergio Urzua. Our recent research covers topics including the impact of fathers on women's occupational choices; the expansion of Medicare prescription drug coverage; the relationship between temperature and agricultural productivity; the effect of expanding publicly provided family planning services to low-income women; and the causes and consequences of the recent expansion in disability rolls in the US. Many students and faculty in these fields benefit from the resources of the Maryland Population Research Center (MPRC), a multidisciplinary center organized by the Departments of Economics, Sociology and Demography, dedicated to economic demography and other population-related research.
Macroeconomics and International Finance
Students in macro and international finance learn the tools needed to analyze dynamic general equilibrium models and apply them to study issues such as business cycles, capital flows and exchange rate fluctuations. The Wednesday afternoon workshop in macroeconomics and international finance features guest speakers from top institutions throughout the world. Our faculty in these fields include Boragan Aruoba, Pablo D'Erasmo, Allan Drazen, John Haltiwanger, Chuck Hulten, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Anton Korinek, Enrique Mendoza, John Shea, Luminita Stevens, and Carlos Vegh. Our recent research covers a variety of topics including financial crises and international contagion; optimal fiscal and monetary policy in models with search and other frictions; employment dynamics of new businesses; the role of intangible capital in productivity growth; financial integration and global imbalances; the causes and consequences of abrupt reversals in international capital flows; and optimal exchange rate regimes.
Microeconomic Theory and Industrial Organization
Students in microeconomic theory and industrial organization study the behavior of firms and markets. These fields jointly present the Tuesday afternoon workshop in theory and industrial organization. Faculty include Lawrence Ausubel, Peter Cramton, Ginger Jin, Emel Filiz Ozbay, Erkut Ozbay, and Daniel Vincent. Recent faculty research covers topics including the theory and practice of auction design; the functioning of electricity markets; the impact of information provision on the markets for restaurants, drugs, health insurance, and e-commerce; the inventory and pricing decisions of wholesalers; and the consequences of unawareness in strategic games and contract theory. Many students and faculty in these fields will benefit from the Department's new experimental lab, a state-of-the-art facility equipped with all the hardware and software to conduct economics experiments.
To learn more about additional course offerings at Maryland, click the links below.