Experts talk antitrust in technology at the Economics Association Symposium

The Department of Economics and the undergrad Economics Association hosted a symposium at Taper Hall Tuesday evening to discuss GAFAM — the five Big Tech companies dominating the market: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft — and the role of antitrust law in the industry. Read the Daily Trojan feature HERE

Study Income, Racial, and Gender Inequality with Professor Simon Quach

After decades of rising inequality, workers in the top 20% of the income distribution now earn 17 times more per year than those in the bottom 20%. What are the economic forces behind this rise in inequality? Is it due to advancements in robots and automation; did trade and globalization play a role; or was it caused by changes in government policies? Professor Quach will answer these big questions related to income, gender, and racial inequality in his new labor economics course (ECON471) taught next spring.

New Major: BA Behavioral Economics and Psychology

Decision-making—by consumers, business leaders, policymakers—is central to economic analysis. But all too often, observed behavior seems to violate traditional economic descriptions of rationality. The Behavioral Economics and Psychology major investigates how and why people make decisions and trains students to design interventions in a variety of areas—e.g., personal finance, health, aging, education—plagued by poor decision-making. Read what Prof. Isabelle Brocas says on this major in Dornsife News HERE

Faculty In the News

Professor David Zeke is quoted in the LA Times as he discusses the growth of the California economy. Prof. Zeke says that with the help of California’s tech industry, the state is expected to surpass Germany as the fourth-largest economy in the world. Read the full article HERE

Smart meters and dynamic pricing can help consumers use electricity when it’s less costly, saving money and easing pollution

Most households pay a flat rate 24/7 for electricity even though the cost of generating it fluctuates through the day. Wireless technologies are changing that system. Read article by Professor Matthew E. Kahn and Bhaskar Krishnamachari HERE

Slouching Towards a New Market

Join us for a moderated discussion with authors Brad DeLong and Jacob Skoll on October 20th in ZHS 352 from 4:00-5:30pm.

Return Predictability, Expectations, and Investment

Prof. Andries discusses an experiment on investors' decisions that shows that investments underreact to variations in beliefs in standard market conditions; but changing their information about future returns can induce subjects to start making optimal portfolio decisions and react more strongly to their own beliefs. See Video HERE


USC/Unil/Bank-Al-Maghrib host a series of workshop on “Small Business, Development and Growth”

This event is being held on October 3rd & 4th 2022 in Bank-Al-Maghrib Rabat, Morocco. View Program HERE
Register Here:

Vaccines Were Key to Curbing COVID-19 in Europe

In Prof. Hashem Pesaran et. al recent working paper, upon which this article is based, he examines the evolution of virus transmission rates in selected European countries since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. Although the European countries on which we focus had similar patterns of transmission at the beginning of the pandemic, they ended up with quite different outcomes. Read article NOW

Structural Transformation and Economic Growth (STEG) PhD Research Grant


Congratulations to Fatou Thioune, PhD Candidate for being awarded the STEG PhD Research Grant for her study titled, Understanding Disparate Structural Change and Growth Among Sub-Saharan African Countries: A Comparative Analysis of Senegal and Mauritius.

Four Years Later: New Graduates Reflect on USC Experience


Nadia Filanovsky ’22, Turstee Scholar and Economics Major reflects on her time at USC. Read More: HERE



Workshop on “Small Business, Development and Growth” held on October 3rd & 4th 2022 in Bank-Al-Maghrib Rabat, Morocco. Learn more HERE

Going Remote: Can the flexible work economy improve lives and cities?

Urban economist Matthew Kahn argues that remote work presents especially valuable opportunities for flexibility and equity in the lives of women, minorities and young people, and even for those whose jobs do not allow them to work from home. Bring your questions and join us for this live discussion. REGISTER NOW: HERE

Summer 2022 Provost's Research Fellowship


We congratulate our junior undergraduate student Guiyou (Zachary) Guan who is majoring in Economics and Data Science, on winning a Summer 2022 Provost's Research Fellowship!

The Economics of Sustainable Architecture: Adapting to Climate Change


Join us in person or virtually on April 13th, 2022 5:30pm-7:30pm for a panel discussion on The Economics of Sustainable Architecture: Adapting to Climate Change.


The Tale of a Success: Iranian Students of California Speaker Series

The Tale of a Success is a new speaker series hosted by the Iranian Students of California (ISC). In this series, ISC invites successful Iranian-Americans to share their insights and how they have overcome obstacles in their journey. In the next episode, ISC will be hosting Prof. Hashem Pesaran, who is the John Elliot Distinguished Chair in Economics at USC, scheduled for Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 7:00 – 8:00 pm PDT. Please RSVP for the event HERE

Professor Cheng Hsiao publishes new book, Analysis of Panel Data


“A masterful new edition of Hsiao’s classic text on panel data. This is a superbly comprehensive and accessible source for panel data with modern approaches to inference and identification, helpful to econometricians and other quantitative social scientists.”

-Esfandiar Maasoumi, Emory University

Behind the Scenes of International Lending during the Covid-19 Pandemic

The World Bank Group (WBG) holds two key goals central to its mission: ending extreme poverty and achieving shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. As governments and economic agencies around the world scramble for solutions, we examine the problems emerging economies face today and why they persist. Read Shravan Pejavar, Sophomore Economics major, article HERE

The unseen environmental impacts of cryptocurrency: Is bitcoin mining sustainable?

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin—these represent only a few major cryptocurrencies trading 24 hours a day across the globe. What are the consequences of this increasing demand? Read John Price's, Economics major, article HERE

USC Paralympian heads to Tokyo in search of Gold

Robert Tanaka, an Economics Mathematics major at USC Dornsife Economics, has learned to deal with visual impairment caused by his albinism to qualify for the 2021 Paralympic Games in judo. Learn more about his journey HERE

New Faculty this Fall

Marianne Andries, Behavioral Economist from the University of Chicago; Timothy Armstrong, Econometrics from Yale University; Augustin Bergeron, Development Economist from Harvard University; Thomas Chaney, International Trade from MIT; Robert Metcalfe, Applied Microeconomics from LSE; Simon Quach, Labor Economist from Princeton University. (Pictured left to right)

Pay Taxes Less Frequently?

Emma Cockerell '22 was interviewed on NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money recently about a proposal to save taxpayers and the IRS billions of dollars through biannual tax filing.  She was introduced to the concept by Professor Jeffrey Dubin, who encourages his students to collaborate on topics of mutual interest.  An Economics/Mathematics major,  Emma spent the summer between her sophomore and junior years using her econometrics training to analyze data on the "burden hours" involving both the IRS and tax filers creating a proposal to increase the efficiency for everyone.  The results are now in a working paper co-authored with Professor Dubin: Biennial Taxes – A Simple Solution to Rising Tax Non-Compliance, Shrinking IRS Budgets, and Increasing Taxpayer Burden.   Emma's interest in the effectiveness of organizations is also evident from her work with the USC 180 Degrees Consulting Club for which she is the Vice-President.  The club connects talented students with non-profit and social enterprises to help them enhance their social impact.  This summer she will be interning at Citibank in their Public Finance branch and looks forward to a career involving law and/or non-profits.

Congratulations Class of 2021

Watch congratulatory messages from Department Chairs, Program Directors, Faculty, and Alumni HERE

Phi Beta Kappa Inductees

Maya Prakash and Ronaldo Yu were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's most prestigious academic honor society.

Maya is graduating with a B.A. in IRGB and Economics. She will be pursuing a Master's in International Relations at Johns Hopkins's School of Advanced International Studies in D.C.

Ronaldo Yu will be graduating with a B.S. in Economics Mathematics and Business Administration. He will be pursuing a career in Management Consulting.

Adapting to Climate Change: Markets and the Management of an Uncertain Future

In his latest book, Professor Matthew E. Kahn discusses how climate change will affect individual economic decisions and the broad impact of those choices. Watch his interview HERE. Learn More

Famed economist helps us know how to be happy

Subscribe to E-news Famed economist helps us know how to be happy. For more than half a century, USC Dornsife's Richard Easterlin has delved into the secrets of what does and doesn't bring us joy. Learn More

Watch the USC Economics Symposium

A conversation about the Biden Administrations' policies in relation to COVID-19, economic reform, inequality, and climate change, co-sponsored by the Economics Association & the USC Center for the Political Future.  Watch NOW

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (BA)

The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major acquaints students with the historical, conceptual, moral, and political foundations of the chief institutions and practices of our shared political and economic lives. These include private business, free markets, the rule of law, constitutions, institutions of democratic government, administrative agencies, educational institutions, and more. Learn More

You’re Invited! USC Economics Symposium

A conversation about the Biden Administrations policies in relation to COVID-19, economic reform, inequality and climate change, co-sponsored by the Economics Association & the USC Center for the Political Future.
Event is March 24th, 5:30-6:30pm PST. Register here

A New Model for Economic Growth in the West

Join author, politician, businessman and philanthropist Lord David Sainsbury in a discussion with former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown; Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers; Professor of Economics at Cambridge University Diane Coyle; and USC Dornsife’s Professor of Philosophy, History, and Accounting Jacob Soll in a discussion about Sainsbury’s new book, Windows of Opportunity.

Women in Economics Spring Forum

USC Women in Economics Spring Forum is on Wednesday, February 10 at 5:30pm PT. Learn about careers in Finance, Consulting, Government, and Healthcare through an alumnae panel followed by industry-focused networking. Please click here to reserve your spot; Zoom details to follow. 

Economics Mentoring Program

Economics Mentoring Program is an 8-week program will match you with a USC Dornsife Economics alumnus and allow you to: explore career paths, develop your professional network through the Trojan Family and polish your resume, LinkedIn profile and interviewing skills for an internship or job search. Learn more HERE

New Major this Fall: B.S. Economics and Data Science

The Bachelor of Science in Economics and Data Science combines core coursework in economics—including a new capstone course, Economic Applications of Machine Learning—with training in mathematics, computer science, and data science.  

In Memorium - Nake Kamrany

Nake Kamrany, a long-time tenured faculty member in the USC Economics Department, passed away on October 24, 2020, from complications from strokes. He was 87. Nake taught at USC from 1976 until he retired in 2015. He lived in Pacific Palisades, California.

Nake was an extremely dedicated teacher, having taught thousands of students. It was common to see long lines of students in front of his office, and he often spent hours going over the papers of graduate students. He advised many student groups and organized countless lunches and dinners.

His research was in the areas of Economic Development and the Economics of the Middle East. He also had an interest in Law and Economics. He authored and co-edited 8 books and wrote over 100 articles. He consulted for many national governments and international organizations in the field of economic development.

Nake was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and received his B.S. degree from UCLA, and completed a Ph.D. in Economics from USC. He is survived by four children, Michael, Lily, Dennis, and Michelle, and four grandchildren. He is survived by a brother, Saleh, and two sisters, Shaesta and Aziza.

The faculty in USC Economics remember Nake fondly, as warm, friendly, and helpful. They missed him when he retired. He was an engaging conversationalist, with a dry sense of humor. Many junior faculty appreciated his advice.

The family requests that any contributions in Nake’s memory be sent to the USC Economics Department Fund.

Economic consequences of Covid-19: A counterfactual multi-country analysis

The Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented in its global reach and impact, posing formidable challenges to policymakers and to the empirical analysis of its direct and indirect effects within the interconnected global economy. Read about M. Hashem Pesaran, Alexander Chudik, Kamiar Mohaddes, Mehdi Raissi,and Alessandro Rebucci's ‘threshold-augmented multi-country econometric model’ to help quantify the impact of the Covid-19 shock along several dimensions HERE

New Faculty Joining Us - Robert Metcalfe

The Department of Economics welcomes Robert Metcalfe, Ph.D. to USC.  Dr, Metcalfe, an applied microeconomist, joins the faculty as Visiting Associate Professor of Economics bringing a unique blend of academic insight and applied experience.  Rob Metcalfe tests economic theory in collaboration with industry and government partners.  Much of that research focuses on the energy and environmental markets, transportation, firm and labor productivity, and digital platforms.  Using field experiments, in collaboration with industry and government partners such as Virgin Airlines, Southern California Gas, Uber, Lyft, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and the U.S. Social Security Administration, he identifies practical solutions to business and government challenges.   

In two influential papers, he illustrated how companies can use economic and data science with experimentation to increase company efficiency and environmental quality.  A project with Virgin Atlantic designed to improve the productivity of airline captains resulted in significantly reducing fuel costs and CO2 emissions while increasing job satisfaction at the same time.  A second project using Uber data documented that consumers valued UberX services at $1.60 per dollar spent on the service.

His research has also made important contributions to environmental policy. His research has shown, for example, that energy price subsidies to low income groups can result in higher energy consumption than an equivalent income transfer. This suggests that pursuing equity goals through energy subsidies as opposed to fiscal instruments comes at the expense of the environment. In a different project he also shows how simple social nudges, such as information on how your energy consumption compares to your neighbors’, are effective and inexpensive tools to lower both peak load and average energy consumption in California.           

Previously, Metcalfe was an Assistant Professor in Markets, Public Policy, and Law at the Questrom School of Business, Boston University where he held the Reidy Family Career Development Assistant Professorship.  In addition, he was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Economics at the University of Chicago.  He completed his M.Sc. at the London School of Economics and his Ph.D. at Imperial College London.

He is a co-founder of two start-ups that originated from his research.  Both located in London, the Behaviouralist is a research consultancy that works with companies to evaluate solutions to some of the biggest problems facing society, from reducing pollution and waste to boosting growth and well-being.  Signol works with companies to make proven changes in behavior, productivity and happiness that make major differences leading to higher profits.

USC Department of Economics Statement Against Racism & Discrimination

The USC Dornsife Department of Economics stands with the urgent cause of eliminating systematic racism in the economics profession. We also affirm the need to foster more research and teaching on racial inequality and discrimination. Our department recognizes that there are many steps we need to take as an organization to address the exclusion of Black economists and to ensure their representation and fair treatment in the profession.  We also recognize that there is much for us to do to address the lack of diversity in the profession and we commit to taking steps that will support the paths of groups that are underrepresented in economics. Download full statement HERE

Nobel-winning economist says COVID-19 spotlights limitations of U.S. health system

Nobel laureate and Presidential Professor of Economics at USC Dornsife Angus Deaton and economist Anne Case say the pandemic also exacerbates deaths of despair. Read more HERE

Panel Forecasts of Country-Level Covid-19 Infections

Hyungsik Roger Moon (University of Southern California, Schaeffer Center, and Yonsei), Laura Liu (Indiana University Bloomington), and Frank Schorfheide (University of Pennsylvania, CEPR, NBER, and PIER), use dynamic panel data models to generate density forecasts for daily Covid- 19 infections for a panel of countries/region. Learn more HERE



The Great Comeback: How Business, The Economy & Citizens Rebound from the Pandemic

USC Dornsife alumni experts discuss our path forward as a nation in this video, moderated by Paulina Oliva, USC Dornsife associate professor of economics and featuring:

  •  Daniel Dodgen, senior advisor for strategy, policy, planning and requirements for the US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Marsha Ershaghi Hames, partner at Tapestry Networks and a leader in corporate governance practice
  • Robert Kleinhenz, economist at Kleinhenz Economic and one of California’s leading economists.

Watch NOW

Phi Beta Kappa Inductees

Shir Attias ’20, Micaela Cole '20, Hailey Ordal ’20 and Annalise Stevenson ’20  were inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society.
Shir Attias ’20 is a Political Economy/International Relations major and will pursue a career in American politics, foreign policy, and national security.
Micaela Cole 20’ is an Economics Mathematics major and will join Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products as a global development analyst.
Hailey Ordal ’20 is an Economics Mathematics major and will work for the International Monetary Fund as a research assistant. Annalise Stevenson ’20 is an Economics major/Business Finance minor. She is currently interning with HCAP Partners, a small private equity firm, and looks forward to pursuing a career in investment banking and private equity.

Fast-acting countries cut their coronavirus death rates

USC Dornsife Economics Professor and former Department Chair, Joshua Aizenman, finds that shutting down restaurants and businesses just a few weeks earlier could have saved 50,000 lives in the U.S. A new study from USC Dornsife economists compared pandemic interventions in 60 countries worldwide. Read More here

Congratulations Class of 2020

The economics faculty congratulates the Class of 2020. View the video message on our YouTube channel here

Placement News

The Department of Economics congratulates and offers best wishes to our PhD candidates and scholars who will bring their expertise to intergovernmental organizations, corporations, government agencies, and universities. Recent placements include positions at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Analysis Group, Amazon, the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, and University of Pittsburgh. For additional information, click here

Boren Scholarship Recipient

Lisa de Ràfols, an Economics/International Relations major, has been awarded this scholarship to study Portuguese in Brazil. Boren scholars develop highly sought-after linguistic and cultural knowledge helping them launch careers in federal public service. Lisa’s career will center on international economic development with a special focus on sustainability and forced migration.

Rashad Ahmed and Mahrad Sharifvaghefi have been selected to participate in the 7th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in 2021.

Our two Economics PhD candidates, will join a select group of young economists from around the globe meeting and Laureates to discuss current economic issues and recent research in their fields. Read more

Will the pandemic reduce Inequality?

Interviewed for this article, Econ Chair Romain Ranciere suggests one potential upside of the pandemic is recognition of the vital functions performed by low-wage grocery clerks, delivery people, and warehouse workers. Read more HERE

Flattening the COVID19 curve and mitigating employment losses

Professor Hashem Pesaran and colleagues discuss how social isolation policies mitigate job losses. Read more on VoX column and NBER.

  • University of Southern California | Department of Economics | Department Chair: Romain Ranciere
  • Phone: (213) 740 - 8335