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

Gonzalez, Ignacio, et al. “Intergroup Contact and Nation Building: Evidence from Military Service in Spain.” Journal of Public Economics, North-Holland, 19 July 2021.

Meurs, Mieke and Lisa Giddings. "Elder care and paid work: gender differences in the relationship between unpaid elder care work and employment in Bulgaria." SAGE Journals, February 24, 2021. 

Gunter, Bernhard and Britni Wilcher. “Three Decades of Globalisation: Which Countries Won, which Lost?” The World Economy, January 11, 2020.

Gershman, Boris. "Witchcraft beliefs as a cultural legacy of the Atlantic slave trade: Evidence from two continents.European Economic Review, February 2020.

Gershman, Boris, and Diego Rivera. "Measuring Regional Ethnolinguistic Diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa: Surveys vs. GIS." World Bank Economic Review, February 2020.

Eschelbach Hansen, Mary, Michael E. Martell, and Leanne Roncolato (2019). "A labor of love: The impact of same-sex marriage on labor supply." Review of Economics of the Household 1-19.

Davis, Steven J., Dingqian Liu, and Xuguang S. Sheng. (2019). "China Policy Uncertainty Indices Based on Mainland Papers" Economic Policy Uncertainty 

Floro, Maria, Mahmud Yesuf, and Trufat Woldesenbet. (2019). "Gender and Perception of Climate Change in Ethiopia." The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses 11 (2): 21-39. doi:10.18848/1835-7156/CGP/v11i02/21-39.

Stinebrickner, Ralph, Todd Stinebrickner, and Paul Sullivan (2019). Job Tasks, Time Allocation, and Wages, Journal of Labor Economics, 37(2).

See more Research & Publications.

Recent Award Winners

  • Anton Boltachka
    Professor Jose D. and Ursula Epstein Award
  • Hannah Randolph
    James H. Weaver Prize for Teaching Excellence 
  • Yan Wang
    Frank M. Tamagna Education Endowment Fund
  • Matthew Templeton
    Frank M. Tamagna Education Endowment Fund
  • Bongsun Seo
    Fred and Barbara Bergmann Fellowship Fund
  • Yves-Myriam
    Adams Award
  • Lucas Warner
    Ruth Dewey Meade Prize
  • Joan Koo
    Econometrics Paper Award
  • Gustavo Rojas-Matute
    Naidel Award
  • Russell Rollow
    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.


Professor Jon Wisman and his co-author Quentin Duroy are winners of the 2020 Journal of Economic Issues Editor’s Prize for best article for 2020: “The Proletarianization of the Professoriate and the Threat to Free Expression, Creativity and Economic Dynamism.”

Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Global Perspectives, 4th biennial, May 13-14.

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.



PhD Candidate, EconomicsPicture of Vasudeva Ramaswamy

Economics PhD candidate Vasudeva Ramaswamy credits American University with helping him zero in on his area of research interest and for equipping him with the tools to explore and contribute to his field. 

During his time at AU, Vasu spent two summers working with the World Bank, studying the impact of agricultural aggregators in East Africa — specifically, how they provided income and security to farmer communities. 

Vasu’s dissertation considers the effects of the Federal Reserve Bank’s actions on household inequality. Who gains and who loses when the Fed increases (or decreases) interest rates? And how do these effects propagate through the economy? Because business income and profits play a key role in household inequality, Vasu looks at how businesses respond to the actions of the Fed. 

After he earns his PhD, Vasu says he would love to be able to continue researching the importance of economic heterogeneity in monetary policy transmission. “I am particularly grateful for AU’s faculty, who are leading experts in their field and approachable and encouraging as mentors,” he adds. “I am equally grateful for the rest of my PhD cohort, who are a brilliant and motivated group. I am learning from them continually.”

Glen Kwende.

PhD Candidate Glen Kwende Receives Grant for Economics Work

Read More

A speaker presents to a room of Fulbright students

Fulbright Seminar on Women’s Economic Empowerment at AU

May 15-19, 2019

Event Recap

A Career in Economics: It's Much More than You Think


Much more than finance, banking, business and government, a degree in economics is useful to all individuals and can lead to many interesting career choices. These four diverse individuals offer their insights on how a background in economics can be a tool for solving very human problems.