2017-2018 Newsletter

  Fall 2017. Volume 2.


Welcome from the Department Chair

We are excited to bring you the second issue of Inside Economics, the annual newsletter of the SMU Department of Economics.

Economics continues to be the most popular major within Dedman College (and the second most popular major in the entire university).  In 2016-17, 193 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. About half of them received the ever popular Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with Financial Applications that provides a solid background for students wishing to enter the financial and   corporate world. The BA in Economics was the second most popular. An increasing number of students are following the challenging BS in Economics degree that provides solid training for graduate study in economics, business and law. Our graduates continue to demonstrate impressive performance in initial job placements, including positions at Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey, Booz Allen Hamilton, Stephens, PepsiCo, Ernst & Young, UBS Investment Bank, Deloitte, VMG Health, American Airlines, Texas Instruments, Credit Suisse, Oracle, and many more. 

Our masters programs in applied economics now attract students from across the globe; we are creating economics professionals that are trained in rigorous economic modelling and state of the art quantitative tools for analyzing economic and financial data; there is tremendous demand for such professionals in financial, economics consultancy and other corporate organizations. Last year, 28 students graduated with a master’s degree in economics.

Our doctoral program continues to be one of the most highly ranked on campus. 2016-17 was a bumper year for the doctoral program: we graduated 14 new economics doctorates and all of them are currently employed as faculty members in universities or as advanced researchers in major corporate organizations.  

Three new faculty members joined us this Fall. Dr. Rocio Madera, a macro-economist with interests in household consumption behavior and labor market issues, joins us as an Assistant Professor after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Nathanial Pattison, an applied micro-economist with interests in household finance and public economics, joins us as an Assistant Professor after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. Dr. Cullum Clark joins us as the founding director of the SMU Economics Center and as Lecturer, after completing his Ph.D. at SMU; his interests are in macro-economic policy, urban economics and modern economic history.

The new SMU Economics Center headed by Dr. Cullum Clark promises to be a major milestone for Economics at SMU. The aim of the center is to produce and promote actionable, policy-relevant research on important economic issues.  It will devote considerable energy to addressing challenges facing Dallas and our region, as well as speaking to issues at the national and global levels. The Center will organize public events at SMU with experts discussing important topics, promote student research and help connect the best of our students to the needs of the community.  You can read more about the new Center in this newsletter.

Our faculty continue to be engaged in cutting edge research raising the global reputation of SMU. Dr. Elira Kuka, a young Assistant Professor, was appointed Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the most important think tank on economic policy in the country.  Over the last year, our faculty members have published in highly ranked economics journals including two papers in the American Economic Review (by Profs. Klaus Desmet and Omer Ozak) and one paper in the Journal of Political Economy (by Prof. Klaus Desmet), the two very top journals in the economics profession.

I invite you to explore this newsletter and learn more about SMU’s Economics Department and some recent achievements of our students, alums and faculty. Please stay connected to us.      


Santanu Roy