Letter from the Chair


As chair of the Economics Department at the University of Pennsylvania I wish to thank you for visiting our website. We are consistently ranked as one of the top 10 U.S. economics department, with faculty and students dedicated to applying cutting-edge theoretical, computational and empirical methods to answer questions of general economic research and policy interest.

Our faculty from 18 countries and five continents includes two Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and eight Fellows of the Econometric Society whose research is supported by some twenty research grants from the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation and similar institutions.

For the academic year 2016/17 we welcome several new faculty members. Aviv Nevo joins us from the Northwestern University as George A. Weiss and Lydia Bravo Weiss University Professor. Aviv’s research focuses on estimating the demand for consumer packaged goods and the implications for price competition, mergers, and marketing. He came to Penn as part as of the Penn Integrates Knowledge program that President Amy Guttmann established in 2005 as a University-wide initiative to recruit exceptional faculty members whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines. His appointment is shared with the Department of Marketing in the Wharton School.

We have three new junior faculty this year:  Sarah Moshary (Ph.D., MIT) joins us after spending a one-year post-doc at eBay. Sarah’s research interests span topics from Industrial Organization and Political Economy, including work on the pricing of political advertising on TV and competition in liquor sales in Washington state.  Juan Pablo Atal comes to us directly from his doctoral studies at Berkeley. Juan was hired through our search authorization for a junior position in the SAS Inequality and Health Cluster in which the Economics Department collaborates with Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology.  His research interests include public economics, industrial organization, and health economics. Finally, Alessandro Dovis (Ph.D., Minnesota) joins us after spending a few years at Penn State.  Alessandro is a macroeconomist with a particular interest in sovereign debt crises and related topics in international economics. In addition, next year Annie Liang (Ph.D., Harvard) will join us after spending a year at Microsoft Research—New England.  Annie is an economic theorist with interests in game theory, learning models, and machine learning.

Our vibrant Ph.D. program houses 120 students from across the globe conducting research in the four major areas of inquiry Econometrics, Economic Theory, Empirical Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.

Our Ph.D. student placement record continues to be strong. We look forward to watching our students becoming future leaders in the Economics profession and proudly accept the challenge to guide future cohorts of Ph.D. students to similarly successful outcomes.

On the undergraduate level, Economics has consistently been the largest undergraduate major in the School of Arts and Sciences, and as a department we are committed to impart the insights we have gathered from our own research on our students in a scientifically rigorous yet accessible and interesting way.

I cordially invite you to come visit us in Philadelphia and join in our exciting quest to better understand the complex international economic world, one research project at a time.

Yours Sincerely,

George J. Mailath
Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences
Professor and Chair of the Economics Department