Department of Economics
- Wolfgang Pesendorfer
- Mark A. Aguiar
Director of Undergraduate Studies
- Smita B. Brunnermeier
Director of Graduate Studies
- Jakub Kastl
- Mark A. Aguiar
- Orley C. Ashenfelter
- Yacine Aït-Sahalia
- Roland J. Benabou
- Alan S. Blinder
- Leah P. Boustan
- Markus K. Brunnermeier
- Sylvain Chassang
- Janet M. Currie
- Pablo D. Fajgelbaum
- Henry S. Farber
- Gene M. Grossman
- Faruk R. Gul
- Kate Ho
- Bo E. Honoré
- Jakub Kastl
- Nobuhiro Kiyotaki
- Henrik J. Kleven
- Michal Kolesár
- Ilyana Kuziemko
- David S. Lee
- Alessandro S. Lizzeri
- Alexandre Mas
- Atif R. Mian
- Eduardo Morales
- Ulrich K. Mueller
- Pietro Ortoleva
- Wolfgang Pesendorfer
- Stephen J. Redding
- Richard Rogerson
- Cecilia E. Rouse
- Harold T. Shapiro
- Giovanni L. Violante
- Mark W. Watson
- Wei Xiong
- Leeat Yariv
- Motohiro Yogo
- Owen M. Zidar
- Thomas Fujiwara
- Ezra D. Oberfield
- Nicholas W. Buchholz
- Natalie Cox
- Ellora Derenoncourt
- John R. Grigsby
- Gregor Jarosch
- Adam Kapor
- Moritz F. Lenel
- Ernest Liu
- Adrien Matray
- Xiaosheng Mu
- Christopher A. Neilson
- Jonathan E. Payne
- Mikkel Plagborg-Moller
- David Schoenherr
- David Silver
- Maria Micaela Sviatschi
- Can Urgun
- Arlene Wong
- Swati Bhatt
- Smita B. Brunnermeier
- Caio Ibsen Rodrigues de Almeida
- Michael J. Lee
- Kelly Noonan
- Silvia Weyerbrock
- Andrea Wilson
- Iqbal Zaidi
- Jean-Christophe de Swaan
Visiting Assistant Professor
- Joan Monras
Information and Departmental Plan of Study
Further details and updates regarding undergraduate requirements and procedures may be found at the website of the Department of Economics.
Students who scored 5 on the AP microeconomics exam are exempted from ECO 100. Students who scored 5 on the AP macroeconomics exam are exempted from ECO 101. Students who scored 5 on the AP statistics exam are exempted from ECO 202. (Note: Exemption from ECO 100 and ECO 101 will be accorded to students who pass the British A-levels with a grade of A, and to those who earn a 7 on the higher-level International Baccalaureate.)
Students exempted from ECO 100, ECO 101, and/or ECO 202 may still benefit from taking these courses, which provide important basic materials for the study of economics.
The department will permit freshmen to enroll in ECO 310, ECO 311, or ECO 312, subject to the approval of the instructor for the course. The requirements are: (1) completion of, or exemption from, ECO 100, ECO 101, and/or ECO 202, as appropriate in each case, and (2) sufficient knowledge of multivariable calculus and vector and matrix algebra. For the latter, please email the mathematics department officer concerned, Professor Ana Menezes to certify that your previous knowledge of mathematics is regarded as equivalent to completion of MAT 175, or MAT 201-202, or better.
To enter the department, a student must complete the prerequisite courses ECO 100, ECO 101, ECO 202 (or equivalent) and MAT 175 (or equivalent) by the end of sophomore year and earn a letter grade of C or better in each course. MAT 201 or EGR 156 can be substituted for MAT 175.
To satisfy the statistics pre-requisite, ECO 202 can be substituted with (a) ORF 245 or (b) POL 345 in combination with POL 346. POL 345 alone will not count as a substitute for ECO 202. PSY 251, SPI 200 and SOC 301 will also not count as a substitute.
Also note that the statistics pre-requisite cannot be satisfied with a summer course taken after the student has begun studies at Princeton except in highly unusual circumstances approved by the executive director of undergraduate studies, Professor Smita Brunnermeier (email@example.com).
MAT 201 or EGR 156 can be used as a substitute for MAT 175 for entry into the department. It is highly recommended that students who wish to take math-track econometrics (ECO 312), upper level finance certificate courses (such as ECO 462, ECO 465 and ECO 466), or pursue graduate studies in economics and finance take MAT 201 and MAT 202 instead of one semester of MAT 175 or EGR 156. Both MAT 201 and MAT 202 should be taken for a letter grade by this subset of students.
A meeting for sophomores interested in joining the department will be announced in the spring. Under-level students are welcome to discuss department requirements with the director of undergraduate studies. Students considering study abroad are urged to meet with the director of undergraduate studies at the earliest opportunity in their first year.
Program of Study
The department requires concentrators to complete, and pass on a graded basis, the following:
Microeconomics (ECO 300 or ECO 310), Macroeconomics (ECO 301 or ECO 311), and Econometrics (ECO 302 or ECO 312), to be completed during or before the junior year.
Five other departmentals (see Other Departmentals for details).
Junior independent work.
Senior comprehensive exam.
Furthermore, the student must have a departmental average of at least a C.
Note: The calculation of the departmental average is described in Departmental Average. The treatment of failed courses is described in Advancement to Senior Standing.
All concentrators must pass, on a graded basis, core courses in microeconomics (ECO 300 or 310), macroeconomics (ECO 301 or ECO 311), and econometrics (ECO 302 or ECO 312). These courses must be completed during or before the junior year. Each of the three core courses is offered in two versions to accommodate different levels of preparation in mathematics: ECO 300, ECO 301, and ECO 302 require MAT 175; ECO 310 and 311 require MAT 175 or MAT 201; and ECO 312 requires MAT 201 + MAT 202.
Qualified students are encouraged to take the more mathematical versions of our core courses. It is not necessary to take all three core courses in the same version.
In addition to the three core courses, concentrators must pass, on a graded basis, five other departmental courses. Departmentals can be any 300-, 400-, or 500-level economics courses, or an approved cognate (see Cognates).
Students planning a senior thesis with empirical emphasis are strongly encouraged to take ECO 313; students planning a theoretical senior thesis are strongly encouraged to take ECO 317 and/or ECO 418.
Economics majors are allowed to count a maximum of two courses from other departments as cognates. These courses need to have substantial economics content. A course with an economics cross-listing (indicated by an ECO 3XX, ECO 4XX, or ECO 5XX number in its first or second listing) counts as a regular departmental, not as a cognate. Courses that will be automatically recognized by TigerHub as cognates are listed below. No application is necessary for these courses.
COS 445 Networks, Economics and Computing
ELE 381 Friends, Money and Bytes
ENE 422/MAE 422: Introduction to Electricity: Engineering, Economics and Regulation
HIS 474 American Economic Crises, 1873 – 2009
MAT 378 Theory of Games
ORF 307 Optimization
ORF 309 Probability and Stochastic Systems
ORF 311 Optimization under Uncertainty
ORF 350 Analysis of Big Data
ORF 360 Decision Modeling in Business Analytics
ORF 363 Computing and Optimization for Physical & Social Sciences
ORF 405 Regression and Applied Time Series
ORF 417 Dynamic Programming
ORF 473 Special Topics in Operations Research and Financial Engineering
ORF 474 High Frequency Markets: Models and Data Analysis
POL 335 The Political Economy of the United States
POL 347 Mathematical Models for Political Science
POL 349 Political Economy
POL 385 International Political Economy
POL 432 Political and Economic Development in Africa
POL 505 Experimental Methods in Political Science
PSY 340/NEU 340 Neuroeconomics
SPI 309 Terrorism Economics and Politics
SPI 340/PSY 321 Psychology of Decision Making and Judgment
SPI 373/CHV 373 Welfare, Economics and Climate Change Mitigation Policy
SPI 408 Finance and Public Policy
SPI 466/HIS 467 Financial History
SPI 522 Microeconomics for Policy Analysis
SPI 524 Political Economy of Central Banking
SPI 538 Urban Economics
SPI 582C Topics in Applied Economics: Growth, International Finance and Crises
SPI 582F Topics in Economics – House of Debt: Understanding Macro & Financial Policy
NOTE: ELE 491 is NOT approved as a cognate.
If you would like us to consider a course that is not on the previous, routinely approved list, please complete a cognate approval form and submit it, along with a copy of the course syllabus, to Christina Lipsky, 114 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building. To be approved as a cognate, a course must have substantial content in theoretical or empirical economic analysis. Permission should be obtained before the semester's deadline for the grading option change (usually in week eight or nine of each term).
Junior Independent Work and Senior Thesis
Independent work is designed to afford concentrators the opportunity to identify and explore their research interests in depth. Students are expected to develop a carefully reasoned exposition that critically analyzes a problem using basic principles of economics. Juniors complete a year-long research project, which consists of a research prospectus submitted in December and a final paper submitted in April. The senior thesis is expected to be more extensive, with a topic of greater scope and correspondingly broader analysis and interpretation. Further details, from the assignment of advisers to the final deadlines, are available in the junior independent work and senior thesis sections of the department's website.
Senior Departmental Examination
The senior comprehensive examination is a written exam that covers the department's required courses (intermediate microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics). The senior comprehensive exam grade will appear on the student's transcript.
Potential economics concentrators who expect to study abroad for one or two semesters must plan well ahead. Because the department only rarely permits core courses to be taken abroad, and because core courses may not be postponed to senior year, potential economics concentrators planning study abroad must complete the appropriate core courses in their sophomore year. It is almost never feasible to spend a semester abroad in the senior year.
Economics courses taken abroad may be preapproved as departmentals by the director of undergraduate studies, ordinarily up to one per semester. Plans for junior independent work must also be approved in advance.
Program in Political Economy Track
The department offers a Program in Political Economy for economics concentrators interested in studying issues at the intersection of these two fields. Program participants meet all the general requirements of economics concentrators, and, in addition: (1) complete two politics courses at any level before entering the program; (2) complete three 300-level (or higher) politics courses during junior and senior years, and (3) conduct junior independent work with a political economy component. politics courses approved as economics cognates may also count toward the program’s requirements. Admission to the program takes place at the beginning of the junior year, in consultation with the political economy adviser in economics. A student who participates in this program is an economics concentrator and is subject to all the requirements of the economics department. Concentrators who successfully complete the program’s requirements will receive a departmental attestation.
To enter the program, the student should satisfy the prerequisites for concentration in both the politics and the economics departments by the end of the sophomore year. This means students entering the program must have completed ECO 100 and 101, MAT 175 or MAT 201, ECO 202 (statistics), and two politics courses (at any level) on a graded basis. In addition to the two politics prerequisites, a student in the PPE must complete three politics departmentals, i.e., politics courses in the 300 level or higher, on a graded basis. One of these, upon approval of the political economy adviser, can be a politics-related course from a department other than politics or economics. Politics courses are not included in the student's departmental average (unless a course has been approved as an economics cognate).
Because of these additional requirements, a PPE student may want to count one or two of the politics departmentals as economics cognates. Approval of cognates is subject to the same rules as for other economics concentrators. Economics cognates are approved by Professor Smita Brunnermeier and under no circumstances is approval given retroactively. POL 347, POL 349, POL 352 and POL 385 are automatically approved as economics cognates and do not need a separate application/approval. Infrequently, and only with advance approval, an economics course can be counted toward the politics course requirement of the PPE; contact the political economy adviser, Professor Silvia Weyerbrock (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A student in the political economic track has the same junior and senior independent work requirements as other economics concentrators, with one exception. Political Economy concentrators are required to write a junior paper with sufficient political economy content, as judged by the adviser. Students are also encouraged, but are not required, to write a senior thesis that is related to political economy.
More information is available by contacting the political economy adviser, Professor Silvia Weyerbrock (email@example.com).
Preparation for Graduate Study
Graduate study in economics requires special preparation and advance planning, starting as early as the freshman year. Students contemplating graduate study in economics should see the director of undergraduate studies as early as possible. Preparation for graduate school should include the following: the more mathematical versions of the core courses (ECO 310, ECO 311, and ECO 312), two years of calculus (up through MAT 202, MAT 204, or MAT 218), an upper-level mathematics course such as MAT 320; operations research courses such as ORF 309, ORF 311, or ORF 405; and an advanced econometrics or economic theory course such as ECO 313, ECO 317 or ECO 418. Students may find the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics or the Program in Optimization and Quantitative Decision Science an interesting option. It is not necessary to be an economics concentrator to enter a graduate economics program, but the economics courses listed above are highly recommended. Graduate courses in economics (500 level) are open to qualified undergraduates. These courses are very demanding and must be started in the fall term. Taking one of these courses can be useful for students who intend to enter an economics graduate program, because it begins the student's advanced training, gives the student a flavor of graduate school, and provides evidence during the admissions process of the ability to do advanced work in economics.