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Fields of Study

Explore the department's fields of study.

Development economics

Development Economics at Northwestern integrates cutting-edge theory and first-rate empirical work. Northwestern's development community benefits from interaction with the theory, econometrics, and labor groups within the department, as well as the Mathematical Economics and Decision Sciences, Finance and Management and Strategy groups within the Kellogg School of Management, and the labor and education economists in the School of Education. More about development economics at Northwestern.


Econometrics research at Northwestern has greatly influenced both econometric theory and the conduct of empirical work in economics.  We offer at least 3 second-year topics classes in econometrics each year, host outside speakers on a weekly basis in fall and spring quarters and run on average a conference per year on current research topics. More about econometrics at Northwestern.

Economic history

Northwestern's strong tradition in economic history coupled with its faculty, course offerings, and regular seminar series provide a unique preparation for research and teaching in this field. The economic history seminar is the department's longest continuously-operating seminar, having been a staple of our schedule since the 1960s. More about economic history at Northwestern.


The Department of Economics and the Finance Department in the Kellogg School of Management offer a joint Ph.D. program in Financial Economics. The study of finance aligns with numerous areas within economics. This is why a broad training in economics is essential for those who wish to do innovative work that straddles both finance and economics. More about the joint degree at Northwestern.

Industrial organization

The Industrial Organization (IO) community at Northwestern is large, strong, and vibrant and is consistently ranked in the top 5 of IO programs. Currently there are five faculty members in the department working mainly in IO, and many more working on IO-related topics. The IO group has an outstanding placement record for its Ph.D. students. More about industrial organization at Northwestern.


Work by Northwestern macroeconomists provided the foundation for contemporary DSGE monetary modeling and labor market modeling. Other strong suits are economic growth and development, international trade, and the macro-political economy.  Our faculty are closely integrated with the finance group in the Kellogg School of Management and with researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. More about macroeconomics at Northwestern.

Microeconomic theory

For students of economic theory, Northwestern University provides a uniquely stimulating, unparalleled learning and research environment.The Northwestern theory community comprises a larger theory faculty, more theory courses, and more theory visitors than anywhere else in the world. More about microeconomic theory at Northwestern.

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