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About the Economics Department

Traditionally, economics is defined to be the study of the allocation of scarce resources – how individuals, firms, governments, and societies determine how to use labor, technology, and natural resources available to produce and distribute value.

In recent years, economics has expanded its scope and toolkit. Modern economics uses rigorous mathematical theories, detailed and creative analysis of data, and insights and tools from psychology, political science, sociology, and other disciplines to study a wide range of issues. Our faculty have done research on topics including race and home ownership, political corruption, the effect of religion and culture on economic growth, monetary policy and intergenerational debt burdens, credit risk and the Euro, detecting collusion in auctions, the effect of automation on jobs, global warming, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on job and income losses, the effect of mortgage foreclosures on the macroeconomy, and the effect of vast uncertainty on decision making and investment.

Our undergraduate program builds on a foundation of quantitative micro and macroeconomic theory as well as a rigorous sequence in data analysis. We offer a wide variety of electives which build on this base for in-depth study of health economics, economic history, behavioral economics, labor economics, financial economics, development economics, macroeconomics, international economics, and more.

Three masters degree programs (the Master of Arts in Economics, Master of Arts in Economic Policy, and Master of Arts in Global Development Economics) and our Ph.D. program take these topics further and develop a deep understanding of both quantitative methods and economic content.

In Economics at Boston University, you will find a supportive group of peers stretching our field through our substantial commitment to research and education. If you are intellectually curious and rigorous, there is a place here for you.

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