Around the Institute
The Economics Department has a close relationship with many other departments and especially with MIT Sloan. Several economics faculty members hold joint appointments in Sloan. Business schools and private-sector investment banks and asset management firms often hire MIT graduates with doctorates in economics who have taken advantage of Sloan’s finance courses and research opportunities.
While the interaction between Economics and Sloan is strongest in the applied economics and finance fields, it is substantially broader. MIT Sloan has assembled a leading group of economics researchers in organizational design, business strategy, marketing, and technological competition. Formal joint seminars in industrial organization and applied microeconomics strengthen these ties among faculty and students. MIT Sloan courses and seminars serve as a window into current economic research by business school faculty at MIT and elsewhere. MIT Sloan doctoral students often find that graduate courses taught in the Economics Department provide a base for their research. Economics PhD students, at the same time, often discover that the issues studied by faculty and students in MIT Sloan provide ideal applications for their research.
The MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) is sponsored by the Economics Department, the Sloan School, and the MIT Energy Initiative. The Director of CEEPR is William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics Christopher R. Knittel of MIT Sloan, who teaches a jointly-offered energy economics course. The Center investigates economic, regulatory, and technological issues related to energy and the environment and is supported by corporations, trade associations, environmental organizations, and grants from foundations and government agencies. The Center holds bi-annual meetings and conferences to discuss policy issues with business and academic economists.
CEEPR is a co-sponsor of the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, which supports research on global warming and related topics by faculty and students in the Economics Department, MIT Sloan, the School of Science, and the School of Engineering. The program provides opportunities for economics and management faculty to work with specialists on climate change in the School of Science, and with emissions control and remediation experts in the School of Engineering.
The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) is also an important partner in economics research. MITEI has provided significant funding for faculty research projects, supported graduate students, and funded a post-doctoral visitor to the department. Even more importantly, it has facilitated the inter-disciplinary interaction around energy questions that is the hallmark of MIT.
The Economics Department also has ties with MIT’s Political Science Department. Research on political economy straddles the boundary between economics and political science. It emphasizes the use of economic models and economic insights to understand decision making in political settings. Economists in fields such as regulatory economics and public finance have increasingly come to realize that recognizing and analyzing the political factors that underlie current policies can open a rich set of research opportunities. Several recent graduates of the Economics Department’s PhD program are now leading scholars in the field of positive political economy.
The Economics Department has a long-standing relationship with MIT’s Urban Studies and Planning Department. Emeritus professors William Wheaton, whose work focuses on real estate markets, and Frank Levy, who is an expert on income and wealth distribution in the U.S. and its changes over time, have provided important links between the two departments.
MIT’s excellence in engineering, science, and management has created valuable educational and research opportunities for Economics Department faculty and students. The Department in turn has contributed its experience and expertise to research and education throughout the Institute.