Department of Economics

Congratulations to Professor Sylvia Kuo, who has been selected as one of the Provost’s Faculty Teaching Fellows! Prof. Kuo will be working with the newly integrated Sheridan Center to build a cohort of senior faculty who will enhance the culture of teaching and learning at Brown.



John Friedman's research featured in Washington Post article, "The recession is over for the rich, but the working class is far from recovered". Read the full article. 

Emily Oster collaborates with Maven Clinic to help parents make child care decisions during COVID-19.

They have developed the COVID-19 Child Care Decision Tool, a free, evidence-based tool for parents to assess the risks, benefits, and their unique circumstances to make the best schooling and child care decisions for their family.

Rajiv Vohra Professor of Economics Rajiv Vohra has recently been elected as an Economic Theory Fellow by the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory. More information can be found here Congratulations!

Join Emily Oster, economist and creator of the facts-based COVID-Explained website, and Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (and soon to be dean of the Brown School of Public Health), for an hour-long Q&A on the current public health crisis. As economies reopen, schools hope to solidify Fall plans, and case numbers spike or flatten in different regions across the Globe. Oster and Jha will host this candid conversation with the Brown community, answering questions, and making clear what the experts know, and what is still unclear.

We have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions, which includes our provisional course schedule for the fall to help you in your planning.

Check Out Prof. Oster's Article in the Atlantic, "The ‘Just Stay Home’ Message Will Backfire" about the need for 'less extreme and more nuanced recommendations for navigating life during the pandemic'. 

Professor Emily Oster, Galit Alter and a team of researchers and students at Brown, MIT, Harvard, Mass General and elsewhere worked together to develop COVID Explained , a website that serves as a hub of information for important COVID topics. Check it out! Congratulations to Emily, Galit and their team. 

Toru Kitagawa will be joining the Economics Department as an Associate Professor, with tenure, in July 2021. He is currently a Lecturer in Economics at University College London. Toru received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 2009. Toru’s research interests include micro economics and econometrics.

Today, 5/7/2020, the Harvard-based research team Opportunity Insights (OI), run by Professor John Friedman, with support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Brown University is launching a real-time economic tracker to assist policymakers in understanding the dimensions of the current economic downturn and provide evidence toward targeted and effective recovery efforts.

Jon Roth will be joining the Economics Department as an Assistant Professor in July 2021. He will complete a one year Postdoc at Microsoft Research. Jon is set to complete his Ph.D. from Harvard in May 2020. His primary research interests are in econometrics. 

Lorenzo Lagos will be joining the Economics Department as an Assistant Professor in July 2021. He will be completing a one year Postdoc at Princeton University.  Lorenzo is set to complete his Ph.D. in May 2020 from Columbia University. His research interests include labor economics and development economics. 

Jesse Bruhn will be joining the Economics Department as an Assistant Professor, joint with the Annenberg Institute. He  received his Ph.D. from Boston University in 2019. Jesse’s research interests include labor economics and applied econometrics. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University. 

Yann Koby will be joining the Economics Department as an Assistant Professor in Economics. His research interests include Finance, Macroeconomics, and Monetary Economics. Yann joins us from Princeton University.

Matt Pecenco will be joining the Economics Department as an Assistant Professor. He is set to receive his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in May 2020. Matt’s research interests include development and labor economics. He will be teaching courses in Applied Microeconomics.

For any questions regarding Virtual Teaching in the Economics Department, please reference the Virtual Teaching Resources document. 

Manuel Lancastre will be joining the Economics Department as a Lecturer.  Manuel received his Ph.D. in 2016. He will be teaching Intermediate Macroeconomics and International Finance in Fall 2020. Manuel has over 25 years of consulting, management and entrepreneurial experience and has been a Visiting Faculty member in the Brown Economics Department for 2 years. 

Kellie Forrester will be joining the Economics Department as a Lecturer. She received her Ph.D in 2014 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kellie is joining us from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  Her research interests include macroeconomics, dynamics, and female labor force participation.

Please join the Economics Department in welcoming the following faculty to the department as of July 1, 2020. 

Manuel Lancastre - Lecturer
Kellie Forrester - Lecturer
Yann Koby - Assistant Professor
Matt Pecenco - Assistant Professor

Jesse Bruhn - Assistant Professor
Lorenzo Lagos - Assistant Professor, July 2021
Jon Roth - Assistant Professor, July 2021
Toru Kitagawa - Associate Professor, July 2021

The American Economic Association featured Professor Justine Hastings' research, Advertising and Environmental Stewardship: Evidence from the BP Oil Spill, in a press release titled Beyond reproach: Can an advertising campaign act as a kind of corporate insurance in a disaster?.  Congratulations Professor Hastings! 

Congratulations to Brown Economics students, Robbie Felton and Evan Jackson, who received $500,000 in seed funding for their health care start-up Intus Care. Intus  Care, founded in 2018, was inspired by the inefficiencies in the home health care industry. Its flagship product is a software solution that allows provider organizations to track the efficiency of care providers through electronic visit verification. Intus Care also uses machine learning to predict hospital readmissions and utilization risks using electronic health records.

Check out the Vice article Can We Print Infinite Money to Pause the Economy During the Coronavirus Pandemic? which features a Q&A with Brown Professor David Weil. 

Check out Emily Oster's article, "For Pregnant Women Who Are Scared of Hospitals Right Now, Is Switching to Home Birth Better?" featured in Slate, about her thoughts on switching to home birth during this time. 

The BBVA Foundation recognizes Philippe Aghion and Peter Howitt, Professor Emeritus, Brown Economics for developing an economic growth theory based on the innovation that emerges from the process of creative destruction.

Professor John Friedman's research regarding income segregation and intergenerational mobility across colleges in the United States was featured in the New York Times article, A Simple Way to Equalize the Ivies? Give Others the Legacy SAT Bonus

Check out his research!

Check out The Economist article, Not all democracies are experiencing American-style tribalism, which references research by Brown Economics Professor Jesse Shaprio and Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow of Stanford University! 

A new paper by Jesse Shapiro, coauthored with Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow of Stanford, finds that negative feelings between the political parties has been rising faster in the US than in other rich democracies. The paper was featured in an article on Vox by co-founder Ezra Klein, and in a feature on News from Brown.

We recently learned that Harl E. Ryder, who spent forty years on the Brown faculty before retiring in 2005, passed away in December 2019. 

The Department of Economics is excited to announce the launch of the website for the Orlando Bravo Center for Economic Research. The Center was founded in 2019 and supports high-impact research on the scientific frontier of economics. The website includes information on the donor, faculty research questions, a new Bravo Working Paper Series, and upcoming events.

The degree of doctor honoris causa is conferred on particularly outstanding and distinguished researchers. The event is a symbolic act of the honorary-degree holder becoming part of an academic community.