SMU Department of Economics

Economics is the science which studies how individuals, governments, firms and nations make choices on allocating scarce resources to create value in society.

Economics at SMU

The Department of Economics at Southern Methodist University is highly ranked among economics departments in the United States and offers comprehensive coverage of the major fields in modern economics. In the latest (2006) study of 118 PhD granting economics departments in the US by the National Research Council, our department had a mean rank of 11 in research productivity per faculty.

Economics is the most popular undergraduate major in Dedman College and is generally the second largest major in the university. The undergraduate program in Economics emphasizes rigorous education in modern methods of economic analysis.

The department has been at the forefront of graduate education at SMU. The Ph.D. program in Economics is over 55 years old and was the first Ph.D. program in the university. It has a strong national reputation and an excellent placement record in both academic and non-academic positions.

We also offer multiple Master’s degrees that emphasize strong training in quantitative techniques of economic and econometric analysis and are geared towards business and government professionals.

The department is located in the third floor of the Umphrey Lee Center.

What's New?

  • Fall 2017

    Faculty News

    Cullum Clark

    J.H. Cullum Clark received his PhD from SMU in May 2017.  Cullum’s chief research interests are macroeconomic policy, economic geography and urban economics, and modern economic history.  Cullum is in the process of launching a new center focused on supporting and promoting policy-relevant research on economic issues at SMU.  He will also teach undergraduate classes on economic history and development.

    Cullum earned a B.A. in History at Yale University and an A.M. in Political Science at Harvard University.  He has worked for 24 years in the investment industry, serving since 2002 as President of Prothro Clark Company, a Dallas investment firm.  In addition to his time in the PhD program, his involvement with SMU includes serving since 2008 on the University’s Investment Committee and since 2010 on the Tate Lecture Series Board of Directors, and he has recently been named a Tower Center Fellow.  He also serves on the boards of the Eugene McDermott Foundation and Uplift Education, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Dallas Assembly.  He and his wife Nita have three daughters: Lili (20), Annabel (18), and Charlotte (14).  Cullum will be dividing his time between managing family business matters and his work in the Economics Department.  He is delighted to be joining the SMU faculty.  

  • Fall 2017

    Faculty News

    Rocio Madera

    Rocio Madera holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Minnesota and an MSc. in Economics from CEMFI, in Spain.
    Her research interests lie at the intersection of Macroeconomics, Household Finance, and Labor Economics. More specifically, she combines
    quantitative models of household choice with micro-data to measure the exposure of households to unexpected income changes, generally as a result
    of unemployment or wage cuts, by looking at decisions on both durable and non-durable consumption. Her agenda also studies the ability of
    government policy to insure against earnings drops that happen during recessions; how employment protection legislation determines the income
    volatility experienced by workers over their career; and the impact of introducing public income-contingent loans to finance higher education in

  • Fall 2017

    Faculty News

    Nathaniel Pattison

    Applied Microeconomist Nathaniel Pattison received his PhD in Economics from the University of
    Virginia. Nathaniel's primary research fields are in Household Finance and Public Economics. His research
    focuses on the trade-offs of consumer credit market regulations, debtor protections, and social insurance. He is
    especially interested in bankruptcy and informal default, and how borrowing and default interact with the social
    safety net to allow individuals to better withstand shocks such as unemployment or illness. His research seeks to
    inform the design of consumer credit market interventions in the presence of market failures.