The Department of Economics at Texas A&M University is part of the College of Liberal Arts. The department is a major player in the training of students worldwide as well as a major participant in the profession's research dialogue.
The Ph.D. in Economics program enrolls an average of 25 new incoming students per year, with a strong presence of international students. Texas A&M offers fields of specialization not only along traditional lines (Industrial Organization, Macro and Monetary Economics, International Economics, Labor, Public Finance and Microeconomic Theory) but also in Experimental and Behavioral Economics, a field in which members of the department have played and continue to play a pioneering role. Research is the primary focus of the doctoral program. After completing core coursework, students begin an in-depth study of an economic concept within their chosen field. Graduates of the Ph.D. program have attained jobs in academia, federal and state government, and various business institutions.
Undergraduates may choose between a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Economics or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Economics. Because of its location within the College of Liberal Arts, undergraduate economics students receive a very well-rounded education. Students seeking a specialization may obtain a Business Economics Certificate by completing several specific courses that integrate the skills taught in business classes with the fundamentals of economics.
The department currently includes nearly 30 faculty members and is expanding. The international diversity of the faculty provides a great benefit to the department as it exposes students to various schools of thought and gives them a broader perspective of economic theory. The department's econometrics group includes one of the leading authorities in non-parametric methods (Qi Li, the Hugh Roy Cullen Professor in Liberal Arts). The department houses the Economics Research Laboratory (ERL), co-directed by Brit Grosskopf and John B. Van Huyck, Private Enterprise Research Center Rex B. Grey Professor of Economics. The ERL, one of the best-known in the country, is one of the outcomes of the pioneering work in experimental economics, started in the department by the late Raymond Battalio in association with John Kagel, now at Ohio State University. The lab is used solely for research and teaching on economic experiments, and was specially designed to facilitate experiments. Texas A&M often cooperates with other universities who wish to use this valuable resource. Texas A&M University is regarded as one of the first universities where experimental economics and behavioral game theory got their start.
Presentation and discussion of research work by visitors, faculty and graduate students is intense, with active workshops meeting weekly. Faculty and graduate students in the department often interact with their counterparts in the Department of Agricultural Economics, the Department of Statistics, and the Mays Business School.
The Department, in conjunction with the College of Liberal Arts and the Texas A&M Foundation, is raising funds to honor Dr. Svetozar "Steve" Pejovich's commitment to undergraduate learning. The Professor Svetozar Pejovich Future Leaders Award will fund scholarships for students to participate in summer internships in Washington, D.C.
The Department of Economics also raises funds for both graduate and undergraduate opportunities, and greatly appreciates support from former students, parents, and friends of the Department.
Texas A&M University is also home to the Private Enterprise Research Center (PERC), which plays an important role in the analysis of critical public policy issues. Staffed by Thomas R. Saving, Andrew J. Rettenmaier, Liqun Liu, and Zijun Wang, current research focuses on Social Security and Medicare reform, the health care market, and the evaluation of government spending.
The department is engaged in many other important research activities. The Texas Monetary Conference has met in the spring of every year since 1993. The six major economic research institutions in Texas (the Departments of Economics at Rice, Southern Methodist and Texas A&M Universities, the Universities of Houston and Texas and the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), have alternated as hosts of this annual conference. The Texas Monetary Conference has consistently succeeded in having some of the top macro and monetary economists present their work, with discussants from the local sponsoring institutions. Texas A&M hosted the event in 1995, 2000, 2006, and again in 2013.
A similar and equally successful event in which the department is involved is the Texas Camp Econometrics Conference, a collaborative effort of the Departments of Economics at the Universities of Houston and Texas, Rice and Southern Methodist Universities and Texas A&M University. Texas Camp Econometrics meets annually in the spring, and the sponsoring departments rotate as hosts. The primary goal of this conference is to bring together the econometricians and empirical economists of the participating institutions in order to present and discuss issues and papers in econometrics, both applied and theoretical. A related goal is to stimulate student interest in econometrics and help these students develop their research and presentation skills.
The Department has also hosted an annual conference every fall in conjunction with the American Society of Hispanic Economists. Visiting faculty are encouraged to bring undergraduates with strong research interests as well. The conference is an important forum on economic issues affecting Hispanic and African-American communities.
The Economics Department is located in the Robert H. and Judy Ley Allen Building (ALLN), which also houses the Department of Political Science and the George Bush School of Government and Public Service. The Allen building is part of the complex that includes the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the impressive facilities of the Presidential Conference Center. The beautifully landscaped complex offers a perfect blend of pleasant quietness and state-of-the-art facilities.