General Information about the Ph.D. Program
The Ph.D. program in Economics at Brown trains students in economic theory
and the tools of economic analysis. Through course work, participation
in seminars, and supervised research students are taught to conduct theoretical
and empirical research at the highest level.
The Ph.D. degree usually requires two years of course work, followed by supervised research and the completion of a doctoral dissertation. The first year involves core courses in microeconomics (Economics 2050, 2060), macroeconomics (Economics 2070, 2080), econometrics (Economics 2030, 2040), and two additional courses, one in mathematics (Economics 2010) and one in applied economics analysis (Economics 2020). Students take written core examinations in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics at the end of the first year. Starting in the second year, each student chooses two fields of specialization, and takes an oral field exam. Each field comprises two advanced courses within an area. Beyond the fields, the student takes three additional advanced courses, for a total of seven. The rest of pre-dissertation requirements include a research paper turned in at the end of the third year and two successful seminar presentations. The detailed description of all requirements, along with guidelines for the student, can be found in The Handbook of the Graduate Program.
The culmination of the Ph.D. program is the dissertation, which embodies
the results of the student's original research. Work on the dissertation
usually takes two-three years after completion of course work. Students
working on dissertations participate actively in research workshops. After
a faculty committee has approved the dissertation, the student takes a
final oral examination on the subject of the dissertation.
The work in the Ph.D. program is demanding and the standards of performance
are high. The Department's reputation for providing superb training has
enabled its graduates to compile an excellent placement record. Some of
the institutions at which recent graduates have obtained positions include
major research universities (Chicago, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Minnesota,
New York University, Penn State, University College London, University of British Columbia, University of Pittsburgh, University
of Toronto, University of Virginia), prestigious
liberal arts colleges (Williams), government and international agencies (International
Monetary Fund, Federal Trade Commission, World Bank, Congressional Budget
Office, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, US Census Bureau),
and private industrial, consulting, and research firms. Brown graduates
have an outstanding record of research accomplishments and publications.
The Department offers a one-year MA program. Applicants to the MA program should apply to the PhD program, and are evaluated using the same criteria as applicants to the PhD program. Students in the MA program are not funded by Brown. However, those MA students who take the core examination and pass it will continue in the PhD program and receive funding. In addition, PhD students can earn the MA on the way to the PhD or can receive the MA if they choose not to complete the PhD program. To receive the MA degree in economics at Brown University, students are required to obtain a passing grade in the following eight first-year courses: EC2010, EC2020, EC2030, EC2040, EC2050, EC2060, EC2070, and EC2080. Substitutions for these courses are possible with permission from a Faculty Advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
The Department currently has about thirty faculty members. The faculty
includes several Fellows of the Econometric Society,
several Sloan Fellows, several Guggenheim Fellows, several recipients of prestigious prizes and awards, the editor of the Journal of Economic Growth, the editor of the Journal of Financial Intermediation, a past editor of the American Economic Review, and several associates
and fellows of the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Center
for Economic Policy Research. The Department's faculty publishes regularly their research in the top journals of economics and other disciplines, as well as in top field journals (see our "Selected Faculty Publications"). Members of the faculty in the Department have also delivered numerous named, keynote and plenary lectures in main international scientific conferences. The atmosphere in the Department is highly
collegial. Interaction among faculty members and graduate students is
easy and extensive. The department collaborates with the Brown
Population Studies and Training Center, which provides support for
students doing research in population economics and economic development.
Active workshops provide opportunities for faculty, graduate students,
and visiting scholars to discuss current research. Library and computer
facilities are excellent.
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Application for Admission and Financial Aid
The University and the Department offer financial aid to highly qualified
applicants in the form of first-year Fellowships, Teaching Assistantships,
Research Assistantships, and Dissertation Fellowships. Financial aid is usually offered to the students in the PhD program through the first five years of graduate study. All financial aid after the first year is conditional on making good academic progress towards the PhD degree as defined in the department's PhD Handbook.
Entry into the Ph.D. program in economics is possible only in the Fall
semester. The application deadline is December 15 for admission starting the following September. About 13 students enter the program each year.
All applicants must take the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections
of the Graduate Record Examination. In order to ensure that their scores
reach us by January, applicants should take the GRE in October, or, at
the latest, in December. Applicants whose native language is not English
must also take the TOEFL examination. Further information about the GRE
and TOEFL examinations can be obtained from the Educational
Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08540.
In preparing for the Ph.D. program in economics a student can pursue
an undergraduate major in any field. However, four semesters of economic
analysis and two years of calculus are required for admission. Courses
in economic theory, differential equations, and linear algebra are highly
recommended. A strong undergraduate record, particularly in Economics,
Mathematics and other analytical subjects, provides evidence of the applicant's
ability and preparation for undertaking graduate work.
Additional information and application forms (electronic forms only) are
available from the Graduate
School. For answers to specific questions about the Economics Department,
Frequently Asked Questions
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Living in Providence
Providence is an historic New England city with an ethnically diverse
metropolitan area population of about one million. Quoting from The New
York Times, "...a vibrant, charming city, one of the most attractive
medium-size cities in the country, rich in history and culture and uniquely
rich in beautiful dwellings and public buildings of the late 18th and
early 19th centuries." Providence has developed into a significant
travel destination, with 5.5 million visitors yearly.
The University is in the oldest and best residential area of the city.
Most faculty and students live in this neighborhood. In addition to many
university cultural and athletic events, Providence has good restaurants,
an active nightlife, an excellent repertory theatre, a symphony orchestra,
and several fine art museums and galleries. The civic arena hosts rock
concerts, athletic events, and more. The University's athletic center
provides excellent facilities for squash, swimming, ice skating, tennis,
and general fitness.
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2014-15 class schedule. This list is subject to revision. Check this website for updates.
Please see the course catalog in Banner for full course descriptions.
Selected Faculty Publications
"Home Alone: Maternal Employment, Child Care and Adolescent Behavior," Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming.
"Networks or Neighborhoods? Correlations in the Use of Publicly Funded Maternity Care in California," with J. Currie, Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming.
"Low Take-up in Medicaid: Does Outreach Matter and For Whom?" American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 2003.
“School Desegregation, School Choice and Changes in Residential
Location Patterns by Race,” with Byron Lutz, American Economic
“Understanding the City Size Wage Gap,” with Ronni Pavan, Review of
Economic Studies, 2012.
"The Effects of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Developments on Neighborhoods," with J.Marion, Journal of Public Economics, 2009.
"Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?,"Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2007.
"Suburbanization and Transportation in the Monocentric Model,"Journal of Urban Economics, 2007.
Pedro Dal Bó
"Institutions and Behavior: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Democracy," with A. Foster and L. Putterman, American Economic Review, 2010.
"Love, Hate and Murder: Commitment Devices in Violent Relationships," with A. Aizer, Journal of Public Economics, 2009.
"Political Dynasties," with E. Dal Bo and J. Snyder, Review of Economic Studies, 2009.
"Plata o Plomo?: Bribes and Punishment in a Theory of Political Influence," with E. Dal Bo and R. Di Tella, American Political Science Review, 2006.
"Cooperation under the Shadow of the Future: Experimental Evidence from Infinitely Repeated Games," American Economic Review, 2005.
Geoffroy de Clippel
"Two Remarks on the Inner Core," with E. Minelli, Games and Economic Behavior, 2005.
"Values for Cooperative Games with Incomplete Information: an Eloquent Example," Games and Economic Behavior, 2005.
"The Type-Agent Core for Exchange Economies under Asymmetric Information," Journal of Economic Theory, 2007.
"Impartial Division of a Dollar," with H. Moulin and N. Tideman, Journal of Economic Theory, 2008.
"Marginal Contributions and Externalities in the Value", with R. Serrano, Economertica, 2008.
“Choice Anomalies, Search and Revealed Preference,” with Andrew Caplin, Theoretical Economics,
“Measuring Beliefs and Rewards: A Neuroeconomic Approach,” with Andrew Caplin, Paul Glimcher and
Robb Rutledge, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Forthcoming
"Dopamine, Reward Prediction Error, and Economics," with Andrew Caplin, Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 2008.
"Economic Growth and the Rise of Forests," with M. Rosenzweig, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2003.
"Household Division, Inequality and Rural Economic Growth," with M. Rosenzweig, Review of Economic Studies, 2002.
"Imperfect Commitment, Altruism, and the Family: Evidence from Transfer Behavior in Low-Income Rural Areas," with M. Rosenzweig, Review of Economics and Statistics, 2001.
"Women`s Schooling, Home Teaching, and Economic Growth," with J. Behrman, M. Rosenzweig and P. Vashishtha, Journal of Political Economy, 1999.
"Comparative Advantage, Information and the Allocation of Workers to Tasks: Evidence from an Agricultural Labor Market," with M. Rosenzweig, Review of Economic Studies, 1996.
"The Impact of Mass Migration on the Israeli Labor Market," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001.
"You Can`t Take It With You? Immigrant Assimilation and the Portability of Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, 2000.
"Immigration and the Receiving Economy," with J. Hunt, in C. Hirschman, P. Kasinitz, and J. DeWind, eds. The Handbook of International Migration, Russell Sage Foundation, 1999.
"The Impact of Immigrants on Host Country Wages, Employment and Growth," with J. Hunt, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1995.
“The Out of Africa Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development” (with Q. Ashraf) American Economic Review, 102, 1-46 (February 2013).
“Dynamics and Stagnation in the Malthusian Epoch: Theory and Evidence” (with Q. Ashraf) American Economic Review, 101, 2003-2041 (August 2011).
“Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth” (with O. Moav) Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117, 1133-1192, (November 2002).
"Population, Technology, and Growth: From the Malthusian Regime to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," (with D. Weil). American Economic Review, 90, 806-828, (September 2000).
"Income Distribution and Macroeconomics" (with Joseph Zeira), Review of Economics Studies, 60, 35-52, (January, 1993).
"On Strategic Community Development," with J-FThisse, Journal of Political Economy, 2001.
"Are Chinese Cities Too Small," with C.C. Au, Review of Economic Studies, 2006.
"Networking off Madison Avenue," with M. Arzaghi, Revenue of Economic Studies, 2008.
"The Dynamics of City Formation", with A. Venables, Review ofEconomic Dynamics, 2009.
"Corruption and Local Democratization in Indonesia: TheRole of Islamic Parties," with Ari Kuncoro, Journal of Development Economics, 2011.
“Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," with Adam Storeygard and David Weil, American Economic Review, forthcoming.
"The Microfoundations of the Keynesian Multiplier Process," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, 2006.
"Appropriate Growth Policy: An Integrating Framework," with P. Aghion, Journal of the European Economic Association, 2006.
"Beyond Search: Fiat Money in Organized Exchange," International Economic Review, 2005.
"Endogenous Growth and Cross Country Income Differences," American Economic Review, 2000.
"Endogenous Growth Theory," with P. Aghion, MIT Press, 1998.
"Testing Parameters in GMM without assuming that they are identified," Econometrica, 2005.
"Testing Subsets of Structural Parameters in the IV Regression Model," Review of Economics and Statistics, 2004.
"Invariant Bayesian Inference in Regression Models that is robust against the Jeffreys-Lindleys Paradox," Journal of Econometrics, 2004.
"Bayesian and Classical Approaches to Instrumental Variable Regression," with E. Zivot, Journal of Econometrics, 2003.
"Pivotal Statistics for testing Structural Parameters in Instrumental Variables Regression," Econometrica, 2002.
"Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements”, with Chun-Fang Chiang, July 2011, Review of Economic Studies, 78(3), 795-820.
“Momentum and Social Learning in Presidential Primaries,” with Nathan
Schiff, Journal of Political Economy,( 118(6),
“Socially Optimal Districting: A Theoretical and Empirical
Exploration,” with Stephen Coate, Quarterly Journal of
Economics, (122(4), 1409-1471), 2007.
"Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending:
Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American
Economic Review (92(1)), 2002.
"Estimating the Value of Proposal Power", American Economic Review, 2005.
"Memory Parameter Estimation in the Presence of Level Shifts and Deterministic Trends," with P. Perron, Econometric Theory, forthcoming.
"Estimation of the Long-Memory Stochastic Volatility Model Parameters that is Robust to Level Shifts and Deterministic Trends," Journal of Time Series Analysis, forthcoming.
"Pre-colonial Ethnic Institutions and Contemporary African Development," with Elias Papaioannou, Econometrica, forthcoming.
"The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity,"
American Economic Review, 2012, 102(4): 1508–1539.
"Evolution and the Growth Process: Natural Selection of Entrepreneurial Traits,"
with Oded Galor, Journal of Economic Theory, 2012, 147(2): 759-780.
"Monitoring in Teams: A Model and Experiment on the Central Monitor Hypothesis," with S. Grosse and B. Rockenbach, Journal of the European Economic Association, 2011.
“Public Goods and Voting on Sanction Schemes: An Experiment,” with Jean-Robert Tyran and Kenju Kamei, Journal of Public Economics, 2011.
“Cooperation and Punishment,” Science, April 2010.
“Post-1500 Population Flows and the Long Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality,” with David Weil, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2010.
“Institutions and Behavior: Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Democracy,” with Pedro Dal Bó and Andrew Foster, American Economic Review, 2010.
“Nonparametric Instrumental Regression,” with S. Darolles,Y. Fan and J.P. Florens, Econometrica, September 2011.
“Efficient Derivative Pricing by Extended Method of Moments,” with C. Gourieroux and P. Gagliardin), Econometrica, July 2011.
“State Dependence in Fundamentals and Preferences Explains Risk-Aversion Puzzle,” with F. Chabi-Yo and R. Garcia, Review of Financial Studies, April 2008.
“Indirect Inference and Calibration of Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models,” with R. Dridi and A. Guay, Journal of Econometrics, February 2007.
“Linear Inverse Problems in Structural Econometrics: Estimation based on spectral decomposition and regularization,” with M. Carrasco and J.P.Florens, Handbook of Econometrics, Vol. 6B, J Heckman (ed.), North Holland, 2007.
“Entropy and the Value of Information for Investors,” with A. Cabrales and O. Gossner, American Economic Review, forthcoming.
“A New Necessary Condition for Implementation in Iteratively Undominated Strategies,” with T. Kunimoto, Journal of Economic Theory, 2011.
“Equilibrium Blocking in Large Quasilinear Economies,” with Y. Kamishiro, Mathematics of Operations Research, 2011.
“Marginal Contributions and Externalities in the Value," with G. de Clippel, Econometrica, 2008.
“An Economic Index of Riskiness,’ with R. J. Aumann, Journal of Political Economy, 2008.
"The Ex Ante Incentive Compatible Core in the Absence of Wealth Effects," with
F. Forges and J-F. Mertens, Econometrica, 2002.
"Incentives and the Core of an Exchange Economy: A Survey," with F. Forges and E. Minelli, Journal of Mathematical Economics, 2002.
"Coalitional Power and Public Good," with D. Ray, Journal of Political Economy, 2001.
"On the Failure of Core Convergence in Economies with Asymmetric Information," with R. Serrano and O. Volij, Econometrica, 2001.
"Incomplete Information, Incentive Compatibility and the Core," Journal of Economic Theory, 1999.
"When Does Improving Health Raise GDP?," with Q. Ashraf and A. Lester, NBER Macro Annual, 2008.
"Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2007.
"Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," with C. Carroll and J. Overland, American Economic Review, 2000.
"The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," with O. Galor, American Economic Review, 1996.
"A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," with G. Mankiw and D. Romer, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1992.
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