The graduate program in economics at Rice University is designed for students wishing to pursue the Ph.D. degree. The program trains students to conduct outstanding research in economics. All major areas of economics are covered, with particular strengths in theoretical, applied, and empirical microeconomics and econometrics. Graduates go on to obtain positions at universities, research institutions, government agencies, and private firms around the world.

The structure of the program equips students with the theoretical and empirical skills necessary to pursue successful research careers in academia, business and government. The department encourages independent work by emphasizing early exposure to current research through faculty seminars and student papers. Seminars and workshops involving faculty and graduate students meet on a regular basis to expose students to a variety of specialized literature and cutting edge ideas and methods. The program combines rigorous core requirements with intensive coursework in a specialization to prepare students for structured independent study and dissertation research agendas. The program specifies a thorough training in economic theory and econometrics its first two years to provide a sound foundation for the independent research and further specialization that occupies the student's time thereafter. 

For more information, please visit the Department of Economics website and the graduate program handbook.

Degrees Offered:




Graduate students are welcomed as collaborators in the research agenda of the Baker Institute for Public Policy. Economics department faculty and graduate students are currently participating in research projects examining issues applied microeconomics, econometrics, political economy, labor economics,industrial organization, energy economics, health economics, development economics, public finance, and financial economics.. Recent graduates have gone on to work with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Freddie Mac, the Center for Economic Studies at the Bureau of the Census, the Department of Justice, Indiana University, Miami University (Ohio), Harvard University School of Public Health, Ernst & Young, PriceWaterHouse Coopers and Exxon. Foreign placements have included positions at Victoria University, University of Montreal, ITAM (Mexico), American University (Beirut), the Korean Research Institute, the Samsung Research Institute, Hanyang University (Korea), the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economica (Mexico), Energy Regulatory Commission (Mexico), Banco de Mexico and the University of Adelaide (Australia). 

Areas of Research

  • Applied microeconomics
  • Econometrics
  • Political Economy
  • Labor Economics
  • Industrial Organization
  • Energy Economics
  • Health Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Public Finance
  • Financial Economics

The Department of Economics Contact Information

Professor Antonio Merlo, Chair
266 Baker Building
Phone: 713-348-4875
Fax: 713-348-5278