Our PhD program promotes practice-based scholarship that embraces the scientific method to better understand how people and societies make decisions.

Students are exposed to cutting-edge research in international economics and behavioral and applied microeconomics. Students are encouraged to collaborate with top scholars impacting the field today. Because we are an all-graduate student program, we mentor our students closely and prepare them for success in a competitive and fast-changing world. We have a long history of both influential research and of training students for careers in academia, government, and the private sector.

Program Highlights
  • We closely mentor our students throughout their graduate school experience. CGU is an all-graduate institution & its core faculty are dedicated to enhancing our students’ success.
  • We offer an active intellectual environment through informal brainstorming groups, and formal workshops and seminars.
  • Students can get teaching and research assistantships at CGU and can also gain valuable teaching experience through lectureships in Los Angeles area colleges and universities.
  • Our apprentice/experienced practitioner educational model offers our students research experience by involving them in research projects that require problem solving and the application of analytical skills as well as the ability to effectively collaborate as a member of a research team.
  • As members of The Claremont Colleges, Economics PhD students have access to one-of-a-kind support from adjunct faculty and the Consortium’s infrastructure that prepare them for career success.
  • This program is STEM designated, allowing international students who hold F-1 visas to apply for OPT work authorizations for a total of 36 months (an initial 1-year period and a 24-month OPT STEM extension) of paid work experience in the U.S. after graduation.

Program at a Glance

72 units

5–6 years

*Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring | Summer

Economic Sciences

Division of Politics & Economics

PhD in Economics

Featured Courses

ECON 337
Behavioral & Empirical Finance

Reviews the history and development of modern portfolio theory, evaluates the empirical evidence on its applicability to real world markets, and reviews recent attempts to develop new approaches to financial economics, including behavioral finance and complex systems.

ECON 375
Behavioral Public Economics

Covers the neoclassical and behavioral economic tools and findings concerning the effects of taxes and public programs. In studying the efficiency and equity effects of taxes and government expenditure programs, students develop research skills that prepare them for jobs in academia as well as the government and private sectors of the economy.

SPE 359
International Development: Finance, Institutions, and Policy

Focuses on both emerging economics and low income countries and covers: domestic financial systems and domestic savings, balance of payments policy, the sources of external finance (private capital flows, foreign aid, and migrants’ remittances), external debt, and the role of the international and regional financial institutions in encouraging development.

ECON 320
Experimental Economics

Introduces the subject matter, methods, and results of experimental economics and the theory of markets, games, and decisions, including issues in experimental design and the analysis and interpretation of results.

ECON 358
Advanced Topics in International Money

Explores research topics in international money and financial economics, including issues concerning exchange rate regimes, international capital flows and financial markets, and the causes of various types of financial crises. Emphasis is placed on the interactions among macroeconomic, financial, and political economy considerations.

ECON 377
Causal Modeling, Big Data, and Machine Learning

Covers statistical methods based on the machine learning literature that can be used for causal inference. Recent advances in supervised and unsupervised machine learning provide systematic approaches to model selection and prediction suited to datasets with many observations and/or many covariates.

View All Economics Courses

Research Opportunities

As a student in the Department of Economic Sciences, you will have the opportunity to contribute to faculty-led research opportunities that offer practice-oriented learning. Current project topics include:

Applied Microeconomics

  • Wellbeing evaluation: Aims at evaluating community-based health outcomes.
  • Behavioral nudges: Part of a project that aims at utilizing costless technology to nudge mobile clinic users to adopt healthy habits.
  • Effort and Risks: Uses data from professional football to look at effort, risk, and compensation.
  • Brain and choice: Aims at identifying neural predictors of consumption.
  • Retirement savings: Uses administrative survey data to predict savings and measures the mechanisms behind important behavioral biases.
  • Social networks: Involves experiments to identify the conditions necessary for coordinated behaviors within a social network such as Facebook.

International Economics

  • Capital flow reversals: Aims at identifying causes and effects of international capital flow surges and reversals.
  • Faulty mental models: Identifies the effects of behavioral biases on financial discipline during crises.
  • Migrants’ remittances: Studies the interaction of remittances flows and foreign direct investment on economic development.
  • Macroeconomic policy design: Studies the persistence of macroeconomic effects from participating in International Monetary Fund programs.

Faculty & Research

  • Paul J. Zak profile image

    Paul J. Zak

    Professor of Economic Sciences, Psychology & Management
    Director, Center for Neuroeconomics Studies

    Research Interests

    Neuroeconomics, Neuroscience of Narratives, Neuromanagement

  • C. Mónica Capra profile image

    C. Mónica Capra

    Professor of Economic Sciences

    Research Interests

    Experimental Economics, Behavioral Economics, Neuroeconomics

  • Joshua Tasoff profile image

    Joshua Tasoff

    Associate Professor of Economic Sciences

    Research Interests

    Behavioral Economics, Experimental Economics, Microbial Economics

  • Gregory DeAngelo profile image

    Gregory DeAngelo

    Associate Professor of Economic Sciences
    Director, Computational Justice Lab

    Research Interests

    Law, Political Economy, Public Choice

    Affiliated with

    Computational Justice Lab

  • Robert Klitgaard profile image

    Robert Klitgaard

    University Professor

    Research Interests

    Public Policy, Economic Strategy, Institutional Reform, Corruption

  • Tom Kniesner profile image

    Tom Kniesner

    Senior Research Fellow

    Research Interests

    Labor Economics, Health Economics, Econometrics

  • Graham Bird profile image

    Graham Bird

    Clinical Professor of Economic Sciences
    Program Director: International Money and Finance; International Economic and Development Policy
    Co-Director: Claremont Institute for Economic Policy Studies

    Research Interests

    International Finance, International Macroeconomics, Economic Development

  • Thomas Willett profile image

    Thomas Willett

    Professor Emeritus
    Director, Claremont Institute for Economic Studies

    Research Interests

    International Money and Finance, Political Economy of Economic Policy

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Economics program

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John Moore

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-3925
E: john.moore@cgu.edu