We have a distinguished and large faculty that allows us to offer a wide range of major fields, including behavioral and experimental economics, 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 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 on the following link: Faculty and Staff Listing. For more information the requirements for majoring or minoring in a particular field, please consult the Graduate Handbook.
Economic History, Institutions, and Political Economy
Students in these fields study how policies and institutions are formed and how, in turn, they affect the process of international trade and economic development, especially in emerging markets. These fields jointly present the Monday afternoon workshop in trade, institutions and political economy (also known as the TIP workshop). Faculty in DTIP include Peter Coughlin, Allan Drazen, Ethan Kaplan, Nuno Limao, Peter Murrell, and John Wallis.
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. Maryland faculty serve as co-Editors or Associate Editors at the Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Econometrics Journal, and the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics. Faculty in econometrics organize the Monday afternoon workshop in econometrics and include John Chao, Guido Kuersteiner, 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.
Development, Labor, and Public Economics
Students in development, 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, both in developed and developing countries. These fields jointly organize the Thursday afternoon workshop in development, labor, and public economics. Faculty in development, labor, and public include Katharine Abraham, Sebastian Galiani, Jessica Goldberg, Judy Hellerstein, Ethan Kaplan, Melissa Kearney, Soohyung Lee, Robert Schwab, 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 Economics
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, Allan Drazen, John Haltiwanger, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Felipe Saffie, John Shea, and Luminita Stevens. 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.