Equations can change the world.

The Economics Brochure

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We believe in economics as a tool for real, tangible change. Our goal is to educate and empower students through research and teaching that emphasizes creative disruption and innovation. We use cutting-edge empirical methodology to develop and teach economic theory, and then apply that theory to pressing issues that have a practical impact on people’s lives.


Using complex data systems and large-scale experimentation, UC Santa Cruz economics faculty and students are actively addressing some of the most pressing issues of our day through economic innovation. From confronting starvation in developing countries to relieving major financial crises, our economic research stems from the understanding that it takes large-scale thinking to effect large-scale change.

Economics Department by the numbers

• 9,012 students enrolled in economics classes
• 1,698 undergraduate economics majors
• 46% of majors are first-generation college students
• 91 masters and Ph.D. students
• 25 faculty members, with 7 ranked among top 5% of economists in research productivity
8th nationally in research productivity in international finance
• 11th nationally in open economy macroeconomics
• 15th nationally in the economics of information technology

We have unique strengths in three broad areas:

• Economic growth, human capital, and jobs
Including monetary policy, unemployment, entrepreneurship, education, health, and empowerment zones.

• Global economic problems
Including international finance, exchange rates, central bank behavior, third-world savings, health, trade, and labor.

• Cutting-edge empirical methodology beyond econometrics
Including randomized control experiments, lab experiments, quasi-experimental approaches, computational methods, and big data.


To expand both our global impact and our academic relevance, we are focused on these specific goals:

• Expand student opportunities
As UC Santa Cruz’s largest major, we need to add to our field study and career development resources to ensure our students continue to receive the opportunities they deserve.

• Increase faculty and staff
Our current faculty of 23 has put us on the map nationally and internationally, but we are still well behind our competition in size. Adding to the faculty would allow us to pursue new research and develop new programs in entrepreneurship and public policy.

• Initiate practical intervention research
We believe in creating positive change. That’s why we want to focus on initiating policy-shaping research locally, nationally, and globally.

• Enhance the strength of the Ph.D. program
We believe that a strong Ph.D. program is crucial to maintaining our reputation as one of the country’s strongest economics research programs. We want to bolster our resources to attract top candidates in the field.

• Establish endowed chairs
Endowed chairs will attract high-caliber faculty and students while elevating the intellectual activity and visibility of the department.

Why give? In the words of students "The great support from the Economics Department from home and the UCEAP team in Chile made my semester successful and unforgettable." [read more …]


Equations can change the world—but not in isolation. We depend on private donations to fund the vital work being done by UC Santa Cruz economics faculty, staff, and students.

Your gift will help to ensure that people will truly benefit from our work.

Call the Social Sciences Development Office at 831-459-3857.

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