With a large and growing number of distinguished senior and junior faculty, the Department of Economics at Boston University is one of the leading economics departments in the world. For example, the widely used ranking at IDEAS lists Boston University as #11 in the United States.
Strengths in the department include development economics, health economics, industrial organization, labor economics, macroeconomics, microeconomic theory, public finance, and econometrics. While the faculty work in a diverse set of fields, a common characteristic of their research is the application of frontier theoretical and quantitative tools to the analysis of important practical issues. Research at BU has looked at, among other things, global warming, Google ad auctions, multinational production, racial discrimination in labor markets, the relationship between obesity of immigrants and cultural assimilation, socioeconomic mobility in the 19th and 20th centuries, and new approaches to microfinance as a means of alleviating poverty in the developing world.
Our faculty have won many prestigious awards including the Sloan Faculty Research Fellowship and the Guggenheim Fellowship. Seven of our faculty are Fellows of the Econometric Society, two are Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and many are affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research.
A distinguishing feature of the Boston University Department of Economics is its international character. Two-thirds of our graduate students and one-third of the faculty come from outside the United States, and many faculty members have worked on African, Asian, and Latin American economic issues. Within the Department of Economics, the Institute for Economic Development (IED) conducts theoretical, empirical, and applied policy research on the problems of less-developed countries.
The department runs active research seminars in development (under the auspices of the IED), microeconomics, applied microeconomics, econometrics, and macroeconomics, and it cosponsors (with Harvard and MIT) a research seminar on health economics.
Many members of our faculty have been elected Fellows by the most respected academic societies: two are Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Larry Epstein and Laurence Kotlikoff), seven of the Econometric Society (Christophe Chamley, Larry Epstein, Robert King, Laurence Kotlikoff, Barton Lipman, Dilip Mookherjee, and Pierre Perron), one of the Cliometric Society (Robert Margo), and one of the Society of Labor Economics (Kevin Lang). Many have won prestigious awards such as the Sloan Faculty Research Fellowship (Kevin Lang), the John Henry Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (Dilip Mookherjee), and the Frisch Medal (Larry Epstein). Twenty-three faculty members serve in editorial positions with 41 different economics journals. A dozen faculty members are affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research. Members of the department have received considerable funding for research projects in a wide variety of fields.
The diversity in the department generates an intellectual life that is lively and exciting. For example, a student interested in third-world debt will find that he or she can work with specialists in game theory, time-series econometrics, international finance, and development. Students interested in labor economics will find various faculty who apply both theoretical methods and empirical techniques to problems in different regions of the world. Students interested in industrial organization will be able to learn modern applied microeconomic theory and empirical techniques, and work with faculty with interests in both developed and less-developed countries.