Thanks to the suggestion of its leader and Chair, Romain Ranciere, the Department of Economics hosted its first Ph.D. alumni conference on June 9th and 10th, 2023. The event included 22 presentations spread across two parallel sessions on both days, with individual sessions on each of the following topics: Applied Econometrics, Micro Theory, Development Economics, Econometrics, Discrimination, Equity and Diversity, International Trade, Macroeconomics and Finance. The presenters were from 21 universities throughout the world.

The conference was highlighted by its Keynote speaker Prof. Rob Metcalfe from USC who joined the faculty relatively recently and who, among others, has contributed to USC’s Department of Economics rapidly rising ratings for citations and other research. He demonstrated that rising reputation in several ways and then pointed to the rising numbers of faculty in two main teaching and research areas, Applied Economics and Environmental Economics and their growing linkages to other departments and schools throughout USC. He then went on to explain several of the research initiatives he has undertaken which have taken advantage of well-designed field experiments to get at issues of considerable social importance.

Besides these individual paper presentations, there were five poster presentations from currently finishing Ph.D. students, each of whom will be going on to other universities and think tanks, and also presentations by a panel of with five alumni who have been working in industry, sharing their experiences in applying analytic tools and solving current economic challenges in various markets. These ranged from the automobile industry, to international finance and taxation, data science, transfer pricing, risk analysis, and data networks .

The objective of this initiative was to contribute to the strengthening of the economics Ph.D. alumni community, linking them more strongly to each other and to the existing economics faculty and promoting collaboration across both academia and industry. The organization of the conference was led by a conference committee , co-chaired by Jaime Meza-Cordero and Jeffrey Nugent along with Manuel Castro Pinho, Nauro F. Campos and Teresa Molina, the latter two of whom could not attend because of their pre-commitments to present at other conferences at the same time. Its implementation was made possible by the considerable efforts by the department staff members, especially Young Miller, Alice Holzman, and Annie Le.