About Economics

Economics studies how people make decisions when confronted with constraints and the implications of those decisions for the well-being of both the individual and society. Economists study a wide variety of phenomena, ranging from those traditionally associated with Economics, like markets and the business cycle, to those that are considered part of Sociology, Education, Health sciences, Political science and Psychology. By its nature Economics is truly interdisciplinary.

USC economists look at issues as health in developing countries, the provision of health insurance in the US, what causes some countries to grow faster than others, what leads to exchange rate movements, the economics of financial markets, behavioral economics, the determinants of subjective well-being over an individual’s life, optimal design of contracts, the factors behind economic innovation, the effects of economic reforms, neuro- and experimental, and the experimental and non-experimental evaluation of economic policies. Two journals, the Journal of Econometrics and the Journal of Applied Econometrics are edited at USC. The faculty includes two members of the National Academy of Sciences; a fellow of the American Economic Association; five fellows of the Econometric Society; a fellow of the Royal Economic Society; and a Fellow of the Academia Sinica.


About the Department

The Department’s areas of strength are development economics, (international) macroeconomics, economic theory (industrial organization, behavioral and neuro-economics), (applied) econometrics. The Department has weekly workshops in each of these fields. The Department has four research institutes: Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR), Center for Applied Financial Economics (CAFÉ), Los Angeles Behavioral Economics Lab (LABEL), and the Institute for Economic Policy Research (IEPR).

Economics is one of the most popular majors on campus. Our MA and PhD programs prepare our graduate students for a wide variety of careers in business, government and academia. Currently the Department has 1,073 majors, 155 MA students and 68 PhD students.


Contact Information

University of Southern California Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Department of Economics
3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0253
Office: (213) 740-8335
Fax: (213) 740-8543

Find us: USC Maps