UCSC's Economics Department has an international reputation for research in international economics and in a range of macroeconomic, experimental economics, and applied microeconomic fields. In international finance, RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) has recently ranked UCSC as 6th among academic institutions globally. The department is also ranked 5th in open economy macroeconomics and in the top 15 for monetary economics. Eight faculty members of the Economics Department were recently listed by RePEc as among the top 5% of all economists in the world based on research productivity.
The research programs of UCSC economics faculty span a wide variety of areas, ranging from the effects of international trade on the environment and the risk of European debt defaults to the question of whether Medicare saves lives, the economic aspects of legal institutions and the sources of business entrepreneurship, to name just a few examples. Faculty research is circulated via the Department's working paper series and publications in academic journals. Research activities are also conducted under the auspices of the following research units:
Several of the faculty have served as consultants or visiting fellows at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve Board, the International Monetary Fund, the Institute for International Economics, and the Bank for International Settlements. They have also served in governmental posts in the Federal Reserve Board and the White House.