Department of Economics

The American University Department of Economics supports a pluralist approach to economics that embraces mainstream and heterodox perspectives and emphasizes policy applications. We believe that theoretical understanding, empirical investigation, and policy analysis are enriched by study of the evolution of economic ideas and economic institutions.

Our mission is to provide undergraduate and graduate education, and faculty research, that enrich economic analysis and policy by implementing pluralist analytical approaches grounded in historical and empirical context. Offering graduate and undergraduate degrees, minors, and certificates in a heterodox atmosphere in addition to the Program on Gender Analysis and Info-Metrics Institute

 

Recent Publications

Bernhard Gunter was interviewed by Dr. Marat Sadana, Journalist/Producer for Reuters News to be aired in their TV news segment on the topic of inflation.

Blecker, Robert A., Michael Cauvel, and Y.K. Kim, "Systems estimation of a structural model of distribution and demand in the US economy,Cambridge Journal of Economics, January 2022.

Blecker, Robert A., "Chapter Eleven. Mexico: Unequal Integration and 'Stabilizing Stagnation,'" in Wray, L. Randall and Flavia Dantas (Eds.), Handbook of Economic Stagnation, Elsevier, 2022: 225-249.

Gershman, Boris, "Witchcraft Beliefs, Social Relations, and Development," in Zimmerman, Klaus F. (Ed.), Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Popluation Economics, Springer, Cham, 2022. 

Mohseni-Cheraghlou, Amin and Seyed Reza Mirnezami, "Wind Power in Iran: Technical, Policy, and Financial Aspects for Better Energy Resource Management," vol. 15(9) Energies, April 2022: 3230. 

Wisman, Jon D., The Origins and Dynamics of Inequality: Sex, Politics, and Ideology (2022), Oxford University Press.

Wisman, Jon D., "Economic Causes of War and Peace: Overview," in Kurtz, Lester, (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict, vol. 1, Elsevier Academic Press, 2022: 47-57.

See more at Research & Publications.

Recent Award Winners

  • Meave Fryer
    Professor Jose D. and Ursula Epstein Award
  • Amy Cross
    James H. Weaver Prize for Teaching Excellence 
  • Tinatin Mumladze
    Frank M. Tamagna Education Endowment Fund
  • Ian Riggs
    Caroline and Rick Barnett Scholarship Award
  • Stephanie Marvin
    Caroline and Rick Barnett Scholarship Award
  • Binderiya Byambasuren
    Fred and Barbara Bergmann Fellowship Fund
  • Linh Thao Huynh
    Robert T. Adams Scholarship Award
  • John Burzawa
    Robert T. Adams Scholarship Award
  • Joshua Sucec
    Ruth Dewey Meade Prize
  • Farah Tasneem
    Econometrics Paper Award
  • Danielle Wilson
    Simon Naidel Award

The DC metro area offers by far the highest concentration of economist jobs in the US, 19 times the national average, as well as median salary 15% above average: $133,000.

Graduates of the Economics Department make up an impressive contingency of Alumni, having gone on to work at places such as

  • Deloitte
  • IBM
  • International Monetary Fund
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • US Department of Commerce
  • The World Bank Group


For more information on where AU Economics graduates land visit the We Know Success page or visit the PhD Job Market Candidate page.

News & Events

Research Seminar Series: noon, Wednesdays.

Washington Area Economic History Seminar runs October 28 & December 2 (off-campus locations).

A person in a suit walking in the street.  Photo by Saulo Mohana

Department Spotlight ·

New Partnership Promises Job Opportunities for AU Econ Students

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Alumni Spotlight

Marc Alain Boucicault

 

Marc Alain Boucicault, MA Economics ’15

Marc Alain Boucicault is a man with a mission: to leverage the power of technology to reshape economics in his native country of Haiti. His latest venture, Banj, is the nation’s largest coworking space — an enterprise that also serves as a tech startup accelerator partner of Google, Stellar, and Meta. 

Banj is the Creole translation of the word genius. “We named it Banj because it is a space that bring geniuses together, the best minds and hearts seeking to act as agents of change for Haiti,” says Boucicault. “Despite the enormous spirit of creativity that exists in Haiti, entrepreneurs still lack the logistical, technical, and financial support systems and networks to develop companies that can change the country's macroeconomic landscape. Banj offers modern workspaces capable of producing concrete results for entrepreneurs who want to increase their visibility and take their entrepreneurial experience to the next level.”

For 15 years, Boucicault has worked to establish grassroot organizations to spark change in Haiti—he launched one of his biggest projects, Elan Haiti, while he was still an AU student, bringing together the top Haitian “Under 30” leaders for the first time. He has also been a Fulbright Scholar, an economist for the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank, and a board member of the French-Haitian Chamber of Commerce and the Haitian Education and Leadership Program. 

Boucucault says he’s grateful for American University. “It shaped an entire stage in my life,” he says. “Elan Haiti propelled my leadership in Haiti and was critical in helping me to launch Banj. My leadership journey began in DC, and AU was the trigger that started everything for me.”

Bulletins

  • Bernhard Gunter was interviewed by Dr. Marat Sadana, Journalist/Producer at Reuters News, which will be aired in pieces on the TV news. 
  • Mary E. Hansen was interviewed about the debt patterns of Americans since the pandemic in the Washington Post.
  • Jon Wisman was interviewed on his book, The Origins and Dynamics of Inequality: Sex, Politics, and Ideology.
  • Boris Gershman's research on the evil eye was cited in the Washington Post.
  • Bernhard Gunter, together with co-authors Bong Sun Seo and Farah Tasneem, was awarded the International Award for Excellence by the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies.
  • Ignacio Gonzalez Garcia received $598,097 from the New Venture Fund for "Aggregate, Sectorial and Distributional Effects of Corporate Taxation.”
  • Evan Kraft was quoted in Riley Steward from Central Banking's "Is the US heading for stagflation?"
  • Nature shared an insightful review of Jon D. Wisman's new book.
  • Bernhard Gunter provided the Keynote Address at the US Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program in Washington, DC, on the topic of "Managing Foreign Aid and Foreign Direct Investment."
  • Econ major Benjamin Holtzman, AU’s 2022 President’s Award recipient, has found a calling to work on peace issues in the Middle East.
  • Mary Eschelbach Hansen spoke with Wisconsin Public Radio about why so few people have declared bankruptcy during the pandemic. 
  • Kara Reynolds spoke with BBC News about bottlenecks in the global supply chain.
  • Jon D. Wisman published “Why Has Labor Not Demanded Guaranteed Employment?” in the Journal of Economic Issues.
  • Xuguang Sheng was awarded the 2021 Isaac Kerstenetzky Award by Fundação Getulio Vargas(FGV)of Brazil for his contributions to the co-authored paper entitled "Firm Inflation and Uncertainty."
  • Mieke Meurs was awarded $800,000 from the Open Society Foundation (OSF) to continue to support the organizational strengthening of the PGAE Global Scholars.
  • PhD candidate Elissa Cohen (with advisor Mary Hansen) received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) of $29,876 for her dissertation to test assumptions about risk preferences and promote a more complete theory of how perceptions of risk guide decision making. Findings may improve analyses of regulations, promoting the health of populations more susceptible to hazards.
  • PhD alum Laura Sherbin spoke to the Washington Post about challenges for working moms in the ongoing pandemic.
  • Kelly Jones received a grant for $26,552 from the Manhattan Strategy Group and the Department of Labor for her project about improving FMLA coverage in underserved communities.
  • Jon Wisman and co-author Quentin Duroy won the 2020 Journal of Economic Issues Editor’s Prize for best article: “The Proletarianization of the Professoriate and the Threat to Free Expression, Creativity and Economic Dynamism.”
  • Gregory Lane received a $16,727 grant from London School of Economics for “The Potential for E-Commerce Platforms to unlock high growth for firms in Africa”
  • Professor Gabriel Mathy in Salon questions the legality of President Trump’s eviction memorandum, and proposed universal healthcare and UBI, among other measures to improve a failing United States.
  • Professor Maria Floro told Business Insider that without a bailout for the childcare industry women will take a step back in participation in the workforce.
  • Professor Gabriel Mathy spoke to The Wall Street Journal about how the pandemic-caused recession has impacted Latino workers.
  • Professor Amos Golan presented to the Santa Fe Institute on the effects of universal TB vaccination, air pollution, and health-related expenditure on COVID-19 recovery rates.
  • Professor Evan Kraft published an opinion piece in The Hill entitled "Shaky economic data portend a shaky recovery."
  • Professor Maria Floro spoke to Business Insider about the effects of COVID-19 on women's careers.
  • Professor Amos Golan presented to the Santa Fe Institute on the effects of universal TB vaccination, air pollution, and health-related expenditure on COVID-19 recovery rates.
  • Professor Evan Kraft published an opinion piece in The Hill entitled "Shaky economic data portend a shaky recovery."
  • Professor Maria Floro spoke to Business Insider about the effects of COVID-19 on women's careers.
Gas prices approaching $5/gallon

International ·

The US Ban on Russian Oil: Your Questions Answered

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Yami Payano

Alumni ·

Alumna’s Tech Startup Wins $100,000 in Google Funding

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Student Spotlights

Aina Krupinski Puig

PhD Candidate, Economics Aina K. Puig, AU doctoral candidate in Economics.

San Francisco Federal Reserve Board's essay contest called for papers studying economic impacts of gender and racial inequalities. As a winner, Aina's paper will be published in the Federal Reserve Board's Economic Letter and will have the opportunity to participate in a 6-week summer research program. 

Aina's paper focused on the impact of monetary policy, through interest rates, on spending patterns among types of US households — those with mortgages, those with women versus men as head of household, and those headed by White versus Black people. By building on her interest in macroeconomic inequality topics with direct policy implications, she intended (and continues to intend) to fill a gap in the literature, adding to the income inequality narrative by bringing gender and racial inequalities to the forefront of the discussion. 

Through this project, she was able to not only establish the impact of monetary policy shocks on consumption patterns, but also inform the Federal Reserve Board of these distributional impacts. When discussing her research, Aina states that "promoting equal opportunity and understanding the different impacts of policies can help policymakers create policies that promote economic growth while benefitting all groups' well-being in society."

Aina's interest in analyzing inequality topics through the lens of distributional effects of macroeconomic policies came to life during her research for this paper and "ties directly into [her] plans for [her] dissertation..., a good starting point for [her] future research."

Amy Burnett Cross

PhD Candidate, EconomicsAmy Burnett Cross

Amy Burnett Cross has been selected as one of the three NBER Pre-Doctoral Fellows in the Gender in the Economy program to support her dissertation research on the influence of military policy on the sorting of women into occupations. Through this research, she is able to include her knowledge from AU’s Program on Gender Analysis in Economics as well as her understanding that by bringing more insight from conservative institutions into her research realm, she could enhance the policy space of gender equity.

As she continues her career, Amy desires to conduct research that is directly applicable to policymakers, and through her research on this project, Amy has the chance to do this in addition to engaging with economic history and begin to invest more time in the historical arc of military policy and gender dynamics.

She has three focuses for her dissertation project: (1) evaluate the impact of lifting the ban on women in combat (in 2013) on civilian occupational desegregation; (2) measure the extent to which gender desegregation of the Army (in 1977) signaled a shift in the appropriate role of civilian women at work; and (3) assess whether the structure of the U.S. draft in WWI (in 1917) contributed to the development of the male breadwinner norm.

Amy’s work aims to provide evidence that policy changes can influence social norms constraining women’s work and occupational segregation, particularly in discovering how policies regarding women’s participation in the military go on to influence gender gaps in civilian labor market outcomes. In doing so, Amy also seeks to contribute to the research of information asymmetry as a cause for occupational segregation—does military gender desegregation function as a reduction of information asymmetry?

With the support and accommodation of her peers, professors, and advisor, Mary E. Hansen, Amy has been able to focus on her academic excellence and develop close friendships and bonds during her journey at AU. In discussing her work in gender economics and the community at American University, Amy offered, “AU attracts women economists and I have found some truly excellent ones here.”