The Department of Economics at Washington University has a strong reputation in teaching and developing high-quality PhD students for academic positions and for private- and public-sector jobs. We are seeking qualified students from any field who possess strong analytical abilities in mathematics and statistics and who are willing to complete a challenging PhD degree in Economics. At this time, we do not offer a terminal AM in our program.

The department offers students financial support while in good academic standing.


PhD in Economics

General Course Requirements

The PhD in Economics takes five years to complete and requires at least two years of courses in 500-level classes with a 3.0 grade point average. Students may transfer up to 24 units of graduate credits completed elsewhere but are advised to make such a transfer only after consultation with the director of graduate studies.

Courses must include the following classes:

  1. Microeconomic Theory and Macroeconomic Theory: 12 units (Econ 501, Econ 502, Econ 503, Econ 504);
  2. Quantitative methods and econometrics: 9 units (Econ 511, Econ 512, Econ 5161).

An Ideal Chronology of PhD Study

Summer Before the First Year (August)

  • Mathematics Review and Statistics Review

Year 1

Core Courses:

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Econ 501 Macroeconomics I Econ 502 Macroeconomics II
Econ 503 Microeconomics I Econ 504 Microeconomics II
Econ 511 Quantitative Methods I Econ 5161 Applied Econometrics
Econ 512 Quantitative Methods in Economics II

Year 2

  • Preliminary exams in late August, retake preliminary exams (if necessary) in December
  • Field courses
  • Research paper proposal 

Year 3

  • Complete research paper
  • Field courses
  • Dissertation proposal 

Year 4

  • Write dissertation
  • Prepare and present job market paper

Year 5

  • Enter the job market
  • Finish and defend the dissertation

More information on degree requirements can be found on the Department of Economics website.


John Nachbar
PhD, Harvard University
Economic theory

Associate Chair

Yongseok Shin
PhD, Stanford University
Macroeconomics; economic growth

Endowed Professors

Costas Azariadis
Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences
PhD, Carnegie Mellon University
Macroeconomic dynamics; economic development; monetary and fiscal policy

Michele Boldrin
Joseph Gibson Hoyt Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences
PhD, University of Rochester
Economic theory; economic growth; macroeconomics

Francisco (Paco) Buera
Sam B. Cook Professor of Economics
PhD, University of Chicago
Macroeconomics; macroeconomic development

Steven Fazzari
Bert A. and Jeanette L. Lynch Distinguished Professor of Economics
PhD, Stanford University
Macroeconomics; Keynesian economics; investment and finance

Rodolfo Manuelli
James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor
PhD, University of Minnesota
Economic growth and development economics; macro and monetary economics

Werner Ploberger
Thomas H. Eliot Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences
PhD, Vienna University of Technology
Statistics; econometric methodology; time-series econometrics

Robert Pollak
Hernreich Distinguished Professor of Economics
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Environmental economics; microeconomics/industrial organization; business and government; political economy

Norman Schofield
Dr. William Taussig Professor of Political Economy
LittD (Doctor of Letters), Liverpool University
Doctorat d’Etat en Sciences Economiques, Universite de Caen
PhD, Essex University
Formal theory; comparative politics

Ping Wang
Seigle Family Professor
PhD, University of Rochester
Growth/development; money/macro; economic theory; spatial/health economics


Gaetano Antinolfi
PhD, Cornell University
Macroeconomics; monetary and international economics

Marcus Berliant
PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Public finance; mathematical economics; urban economics

Robert Parks
PhD, Purdue University
Econometrics; public finance

Bruce Petersen
PhD, Harvard University
Financial economics; applied microeconomics

Associate Professors

George-Levi Gayle
PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Econometric theory; contract theory; labor economics; personnel economics; corporate governance

Limor Golan
PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Labor economics; applied microeconomics; applied econometrics

Sukkoo Kim
PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
Economic history; urban and regional economics; trade and development

Brian Rogers
PhD, California Institute of Technology
Microeconomic theory, in particular the fields of network formation, social learning, and applied game theory

Jonathan Weinstein
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Assistant Professors

Ana Babus
PhD, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Microeconomic theory; finance

Ian Fillmore
PhD, University of Chicago
Intersection of industrial organization, labor economics, and econometrics; economics of education and education markets

Sanghmitra Gautam
PhD, University College London
Development economics; applied microeconometrics; public economics

SangMok Lee
PhD, California Institute of Technology

Anqi Li
PhD, Stanford University
Mechanism design; micro theory

Paulo Natenzon
PhD, Princeton University
Behavioral economics; decision theory; economic theory

Carl Sanders
PhD, University of Wisconsin
Labor Economics particularly models with multidimensional human capital and their implications for occupational mobility and wage growth

Postdoctoral Fellow

Valerio Dotti
PhD, University College London
Political economy