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Office: Landau Economics Building, 579 Jane Stanford Way
Mail Code: 94305-6072
Phone: (650) 725-3266
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Courses offered by the Department of Economics are listed under the subject code ECON on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses website.

The department's purpose is to acquaint students with the economic aspects of modern society, to familiarize them with techniques for the analysis of contemporary economic problems, and to develop in them an ability to exercise judgment in evaluating public policy. There is training for the general student as well as for those who plan careers as economists in civil service, private enterprise, teaching, or research.

The department's curriculum is an integral part of Stanford's programs in International Relations, Public Policy, and Urban Studies.

The faculty interests and research cover a wide spectrum of topics in most fields of economics, including behavioral economics, comparative institutional analysis, econometrics, economic development, economic history, experimental economics, industrial organization, international trade, labor, macro- and microeconomic theory, mathematical economics, environmental economics, and public finance.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Economics

The mission of the undergraduate program in Economics is to acquaint students with the economic aspects of modern society, to familiarize them with techniques for the analysis of contemporary economic problems, and to develop in them an ability to exercise judgment in evaluating public policy. The program introduces students to macro-and microeconomic theory, teaches them to think and write clearly about economic problems and policy issues and to apply the basic tools of economic analysis. The undergraduate major provides an excellent background for those who plan careers in government and private enterprise as well as those pursuing graduate degrees in professional schools or in the field of economics.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. understanding of core knowledge within Economics.

  2. ability to analyze a problem and draw correct inferences using qualitative and/or quantitative analysis.

  3. ability to write clearly and persuasively and communicate ideas clearly.

  4. ability to evaluate theory and critique research within the discipline.

Graduate Programs in Economics

The primary objective of the graduate program is to educate students as research economists. In the process, students also acquire the background and skills necessary for careers as university teachers and as practitioners of economics. The curriculum includes a comprehensive treatment of modern theory and empirical techniques. Currently, 20 to 25 students are admitted each year.

Graduate programs in economics are designed to ensure that students receive a thorough grounding in the methodology of theoretical and empirical economics, while at the same time providing specialized training in a wide variety of subfields and a broad understanding of associated institutional structures. Toward these ends, the program is arranged so that the student has little choice in the curriculum at the outset but considerable latitude later on.

Students admitted to graduate standing in the department are expected to have a strong background in college-level economics, mathematics, and statistics. Preparation ordinarily consists of a college major in economics, a year-long calculus sequence that includes multivariate analysis, a course in linear algebra, and a rigorous course in probability and statistics. 

Learning Outcomes (Graduate)

The purpose of the master's program is to further develop knowledge and skills in Economics and to prepare students for a professional career or doctoral studies. This is achieved through completion of courses, in the primary field as well as related areas, and experience with independent work and specialization.

The Ph.D. is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in Economics. Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to make original contributions to the knowledge of Economics and to interpret and present the results of such research. 

Fellowships and Assistantships

The department awards a number of fellowships for graduate study. All students whose records justify continuation in the program may be assured support for the second through fifth years in the form of employment as a teaching or research assistant. All first year and a few second or third year students are typically awarded full fellowships, including a stipend and tuition. Second year students who are not on fellowship receive support in their entire second year (and surrounding summers) through a second year RAship. Third and fourth year students typically arrange for RA support directly with a faculty adviser or request TA support through the department. These half-time (20 hours per week) appointments provide a living wage and tuition allowance. Entering students are not eligible for research or teaching assistantships. Students in their final job market year are encouraged to apply for SIEPR dissertation research fellowships.


Emeriti: (Professors) Takeshi Amemiya, Timothy F. Bresnahan, Walter Falcon, Victor R. Fuchs, Avner Greif, Lawrence Goulder, Peter J. Hammond, Donald Harris, Anne O. Krueger, Mordecai Kurz, Lawrence J. Lau, Roger G. Noll, John H. Pencavel, Thomas Sargent, John B. Shoven, David A. Starrett, Gavin Wright

Department Chair: Liran Einav

Vice Chair: Matt Gentzkow

Director of Graduate Studies:  Melanie Morten

Director of Undergraduate Studies:  B. Douglas Bernheim

Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies: Chris Makler

Professors: Ran Abramitzky, Kyle Bagwell, B. Douglas Bernheim, Nicholas Bloom, Michael Boskin, Mark Duggan, Liran Einav, Matthew Gentzkow, Robert E. Hall, Han Hong, Caroline Hoxby, Guido Imbens, Matthew Jackson, Patrick Kehoe, Pete Klenow, Jonathan Levin, Thomas E. MaCurdy, Neale Mahoney, Paul R. Milgrom, Melanie Morten, Muriel Niederle, Monika Piazzesi, Luigi Pistaferri, Joseph Romano, Alvin Roth, K. Martin Schneider, Ilya Segal, John B. Taylor, Alessandra Voena, Frank Wolak 

Associate Professors: Luigi Bocola, Arun Chandrasekhar

Assistant Professors: Adrien Auclert, Ignacio Cuesta, Ravi Jagadeesan, Petra Persson, Isaac Sorkin 

Lecturers: Marcelo Clerici-Arias, Chris Makler, Scott McKeon, Mark Tendall

Postdocs: Oğuzhan Çelebi, John Conlon, Gabriele Cristelli, Hannah Postel

Affiliated Faculty: Elena Pastorino

Courtesy Professors: Hunt Allcott, Susan Athey, Lawrence Baker, Jay Bhattacharya, Erik Brynjolfsson, Jeremy Bulow, Steve Callander, Darrell Duffie, Marcel Fafchamps, James D. Fearon, Gopi Shah Goda, Jacob Goldin, Stephen H. Haber, Bård Harstad, Hongbin Li, Grant Miller, Rosamond L. Naylor, Peter C. Reiss, Gregory Rosston, Kenneth Singleton, Andrzej Skrzypacz 

Courtesy Associate Professors:  Rebecca Diamond, Saumitra Jha, Maya Rossin-Slater

Courtesy Assistant Professor: Jann Spiess

Visiting Professors:  Ben Brooks, Sigal Oren


Master of Arts in Economics

University requirements for the master's degree are described in the Graduate Degrees section of this bulletin.

The Economics department does not offer a terminal M.A. degree. An M.A degree may only be pursued in combination with a doctoral degree from Economics or another department at the University.  Students must be currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Stanford before adding the Economics M.A. degree. Economics students may, but need not, elect to add this degree in addition to their current Ph.D. degree after they have been enrolled at Stanford for at least one quarter. 

Adding the M.A. Degree

While a formal application to the M.A program is not required, current Ph.D. students (including those in the Economics Ph.D. program) must:

  1. Submit a Graduate Authorization Petition via Axess in order to add the M.A. as an additional degree.
    Students must have completed the Stanford requirements for a B.A. in Economics or approximately equivalent training. Since students are required to take some of the same courses as Ph.D. candidates, similar preparation in mathematics and statistics generally is expected before the petition to add the M.A. will be approved.  

  2. Complete the Master's Program Proposal form and submit it to the Economics Student Services Manager.

  3. Apply to graduate (in Axess, before the quarterly deadline) in the quarter you wish to confer the degree.  The degree is not conferred automatically.

Joint Degree Programs in Economics with the School of Law

J.D./M.A. and J.D./PH.D.

The Department of Economics and the School of Law offer a joint program leading to either a J.D. degree combined with an M.A. degree in Economics, or to a J.D. degree combined with a Ph.D. in Economics.

The J.D./M.A. and J.D./Ph.D. degree programs are designed for students who wish to prepare themselves for careers in areas relating to both law and economics. Students interested in either joint degree program must apply and gain entrance separately to the School of Law and the Department of Economics and, as an additional step, must secure permission from both academic units to pursue degrees in those units as part of a joint degree program. Interest in either joint degree program should be noted on the student's admission applications and may be considered by the admission committee of each program. Alternatively, an enrolled student in either the Law School or the Economics department may apply for admission to the other program and for joint degree status in both academic units after commencing study in either program.

Joint degree students may elect to begin their course of study in either the School of Law or the Department of Economics. Faculty advisers from each academic unit participate in the planning and supervising of the student's joint program. Students must be enrolled full time in the Law School for the first year of law school, and, at some point during the joint program, may be required to devote one or more quarters largely or exclusively to studies in the Economics program regardless of whether enrollment at that time is in the Law School or in the Department of Economics. At all other times, enrollment may be in the graduate school or the Law School, and students may choose courses from either program regardless of where enrolled. Students must satisfy the requirements for both the J.D. and the M.A. or Ph.D. degrees as specified in this bulletin or by the School of Law.

The Law School approves courses from the Economics Department that may count toward the J.D. degree, and the Economics department approves courses from the Law School that may count toward the M.A. or Ph.D. degree in Economics. In either case, approval may consist of a list applicable to all joint degree students or may be tailored to each individual student's program. The list may differ depending on whether the student is pursuing an M.A. or a Ph.D. in Economics.

In the case of a J.D./M.A. program, no more than 45 quarter hours of approved courses may be counted toward both degrees. In the case of a J.D./Ph.D. program, no more than 54 quarter hours of approved courses may be counted toward both degrees. In either case, no more than 36 quarter hours of courses that originate outside the Law School may count toward the Law degree. To the extent that courses under this joint degree program originate outside the Law School but count toward the Law degree, the Law School credits permitted under Section 17(1) of the Law School Regulations shall be reduced on a unit-per-unit basis, but not below zero. The maximum number of Law School credits that may be counted toward the M.A. or the Ph.D. in Economics is the greater of: (a) 5 quarter hours in the case of the M.A. and 10 quarter hours in the case of the Ph.D.; or (b) the maximum number of hours from courses outside of the department that M.A. or Ph.D. candidates in Economics are permitted to count toward the applicable degree under general departmental guidelines or in the case of a particular student's individual program.

Tuition and financial aid arrangements are normally made through the school in which the student is then enrolled.

For more information, see the Law School's Degrees and Joint Degrees website.

Joint Degree Program in Ph.D. in Economics and Master of Public Policy

The Ph.D./M.P.P. joint degree is designed for students who wish to prepare themselves for careers in areas relating to both policy and economics. Students interested in this degree first apply to the Economics Department, indicating an interest in the joint program. There is one admissions application and one fee. If the decision is made by the department to admit the applicant, the file is then forwarded to the M.P.P. program. An admission decision, based on the information in the Ph.D. application, is made promptly, and the department informs the student of the decision.

Students may also apply to the M.P.P. after having commenced study in the Economics Department at Stanford, by first receiving the consent of the Director of Graduate Studies in Economics and then applying to the Public Policy program.

Students must have a faculty adviser from the Economics Department to assist with the planning and supervising of the joint program. The adviser is usually chosen from among the department's Public Policy-affiliated faculty.

Tuition and financial aid arrangements are made through the Economics Department.

Other Programs

Other programs leading to dual degrees may be arranged. For example, the Ph.D. in Economics combines with one or two years of study in the School of Law, leading to the nonprofessional Master of Legal Studies (M.L.S.) degree. A dual degree program does not permit counting any courses toward both the Economics and the Law degrees. For more information, see the Law School's Degrees and Joint Degrees website.