Luther Rice fellow Connor Delaney and his faculty mentor, Economics Professor Irene Foster, developed a concept-map strategy for teaching economic ideas like opportunity costs.


Faculty and students from the Department of Economics are engaged in breakthrough research on pressing topics, including forecasting financial recessions, designing educational systems and social insurance programs, adapting to climate change in developing countries and much more. 

The department offers several funding opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students for research projects and internships. In the department's Center for Economic Research (CER), students are also invited to conduct hands-on research using the latest econometric tools and quantitative approaches. 

The department encourages a collegial research atmosphere, with students working alongside faculty and senior professors informally mentoring assistant and associate professors in their work. Some economics faculty are also affiliated with additional Research Centers and Programs across GW.  


Faculty Research Fields





Departmental research in econometrics has focused on big data; measurement error; latent variable models; factor models; item response; nonparametric identification and estimation of economic models; panel data models; program evaluation; computational methods; partially adaptive estimation theory; and mixtures and switching regression model estimation.




Economic Development & Growth



Recent faculty research in these fields has included the measurement of well-being; poverty and inequality; extreme poverty and strategies and programs to address it; economic development strategies; developing country financing issues; agricultural development; the economics of adaptation to climate change in low-income countries; the economics of employee participation; urbanization and structural transformation; the relation between population growth and economic growth; the economic effects of transportation infrastructure; and the roles of institutions; human capital; and technology in development.






Faculty research within the H.O. Stekler Research Program on Forecasting ranges from studies on the methodology of forecasting and forecast evaluation to the preparation of various economic forecasts. Recent work includes exploring the connection between forecaster disagreement and recessions and evaluating the economic impact of Federal Reserve forecast errors.



International Finance



Faculty research within the International Finance Program has focused on topics relating to international capital flows; exchange rate regimes and their interaction with monetary policy, trade, and capital flows; currency, banking, and sovereign debt crises; fiscal policy; and the role of financial intermediaries on economic activity and overall financial stability.



International Trade



Research in the field of international trade has focused on topics relating to the behaviors, interactions, and effects of firms and workers in the global economy; the roles and formations of international economic policies, institutions, and agreements; and the distributional, productivity, and welfare impacts of globalization.



Labor/ Public Finance/ Industrial Organization



A vibrant group of applied micro economists in our department have studied the effects of government policies (such as immigration policies) on individual behavior, labor market outcomes, and family wellbeing; the economics of education (including the education of economics); the long run effects of recessions; the optimal design of social security disability systems; fiscal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic; the performance of public sector agencies; limits of traditional tax enforcement rules; and contemporary issues of firm behavior and antitrust enforcement






Macroeconomists conduct theoretical, empirical and computational research into the causes and consequences of economic growth and the business cycle. Macroeconomic research often studies or has implications for policy, including fiscal and monetary policy as well as other policies that might have an aggregate impact such as labor, financial or product market regulation. As a result, research in Macroeconomics often draws on or contributes to research in other fields.






Microeconomics studies the choices of individuals and firms regarding the allocation of scarce resources. Our faculty’s recent research in this area includes a theoretical examination of the incentives of economic agents to form networks with other agents; the impact of different network architectures on economic outcomes; a re-consideration of auction theory when protecting privacy; and the effects of legal sanctions on behavior, or law and economics more generally. Faculty research in applied microeconomics includes applications in industrial organization, law, development, environmental, labor, public and urban economics.



Urban/ Environmental Economics



Recent faculty research in these fields includes topics related to interregional migration; evaluation of driving restriction programs; management of forest fire risk and adaptation to climate change; racial segregation; mortgage lending and credit risk measurement; mortgage fraud; optimal city size; spatial competition; the economic effects of transportation infrastructure; the relation between urbanization and economic development; the construction sector; interarea rent and price indexes; home price forecasting; measurement of housing liquidity; and the energy footprint of cities, among others.