Letter from the Chair

ball-newsThe Department of Economics at Johns Hopkins University is one of the leading departments in the U.S., with outstanding strength in its research faculty, graduate program, and undergraduate program. The Department has a distinguished history of excellence stretching back to the 1950s.

Its research faculty feature world-renowned senior faculty and promising junior faculty, both conducting research on the latest topics in the field with substantive and methodological rigor. Its primary strengths are in economic theory, macroeconomics, and applied microeconomics. The theorists in the department conduct research on decision theory, the economics of uncertainty, political economy, mathematical economics, game theory, and corporate finance. Its macroeconomists study the behavior of consumption and saving, inflation and unemployment, business cycles, monetary economics, international macro, time series econometrics, and empirical methods in finance. The applied micro faculty in the department specialize in the study of labor economics, industrial organization, auctions, and health economics. The department also has several excellent faculty specializing in microeconometrics and macroeconometrics. Economic development is represented as well. Three weekly workshops in the department bring in distinguished scholars from around the world to present their research. Specialized lectures and conferences occur throughout the year, engaging both faculty and students.

The department has a specialized concentration in finance, represented by the Center for Financial Economics, with two chaired faculty in the area complemented by several of the macroeconomics faculty. Both undergraduate and graduate students take courses taught by the faculty affiliated with the Center and participate in its sponsored activities.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers additional research and training opportunities in the areas of health economics and development economics. Faculty in the economics department interact with those in the Bloomberg School, and faculty from the Bloomberg School teach in the economics department and assist in undergraduate instruction and dissertation supervision at the graduate level. The department also has close ties with the faculty specializing in international economics and economic development in the Washington-based Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

The graduate program in the economics department offers a Ph.D. program with two years of coursework followed by the conduct of a dissertation under the supervision of its faculty. Currently, the program has 58 students spread over multiple years. Most students complete their Ph.D. work in five or six years and obtain academic or nonacademic jobs thereafter. The graduate students benefit from the small size of the department, giving them an opportunity to interact frequently and closely with the faculty.

The undergraduate program offers a full set of courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and a wide variety of other areas in the discipline. Economics is one of the most popular departments at the university and attracts many majors. The Center for Financial Economics offers a popular minor as well, providing students with both coursework and practical training in the field of finance. Students majoring in other departments and conducting interdisciplinary majors often take advantage of the course offerings in the department.

Please peruse our website to see our many facets and offerings. Also please read our latest newsletter to see the many recent events and activities involving our faculty and students.

Laurence Ball
Department Chair