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Graduate Program

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Program Description:

The UC Merced Economics Ph.D. is a STEM-designated, applied-micro focused program, with faculty expertise in immigration, innovation, public economics, development, political economy, economic history, international trade, and experimental and labor economics. The hallmarks of our program are strong mentorship from our vibrant, and very research-active faculty and strong training in the latest frontiers in data analysis and computing.

The Economics program is excellent preparation for careers in academia, industry, government, and public policy. We introduce students to research at an early stage and facilitate collaborations between students as well as with faculty (almost 100% of 2nd years are producing work co-authored with a faculty member). There is a great sense of camaraderie and cooperation, with frequent faculty get-togethers and a student-run reading group exploring the latest research. Students have ample opportunities to interact with leading scholars from around the globe through our active seminar series and there are also several All-UC and All-CA groups, for example in economic history and labor economics, to connect students to the research environment and vast array of resources associated with the University of California, the world’s premier public university system.

We currently have 10 students spread across first and second years who are successfully navigating their path towards independent research. We are searching for more outstanding candidates to form the third cohort of our strong program. We plan to admit another small, high-quality cohort and to provide full funding for those students for 5-6 years through guaranteed teaching assistantships.

Our current second-year courses are as follows:



Advanced Metrics (Johnston)

Political Economy (Tur-Prats)

Immigration Economics & Policy (Amuedo-Dorantes)

Economics & Data Science (Fons-Rosen)

Advanced Macro & Growth (Cook)

Economic Development (Sheth)



Exciting News:

-Second-year Jose Rosa wins the Economics Department Outstanding TA Award 2022. Students described him as "the best TA that I have encountered during my college career" and expressed that they "couldn't have passed the class without him".

-New student Zhangping Cai was awarded Ellis Perry Fellowship for 2022-23. She is coming to UC Merced to work with Ana Tur Prats on domestic violence.

-Second-year Raymond Kim to present at EBHS, the Economic and Business History Society conference, in May 2022 in Salt Lake City. He will discuss his work on the impacts of civil service programs on historical policing.

-Second-year Tony Hua will participate in Chapman University ESI's 2022 Graduate Student Workshop in Experimental Economics.

-Second-year Raymond Kim was accepted to this year's ASREC Graduate Student Workshop "Introduction to the Economics of Religion" at Chapman University.

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