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The Department of Economics recognizes the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion and is committed to promoting these principles in our workplace, teaching, and research activities. Consistent with this commitment, we follow a comprehensive recruitment strategy for faculty and graduate students, including outreach and mentoring efforts. We have intentionally expanded our undergraduate curriculum to included courses that provide research-based perspectives on the economic outcomes of diverse individuals and the roots of economic inequality as it pertains to systematic exclusion. We have embarked into an analysis of how we attract and help undergraduates of diverse background succeed in our program and we intend to make the necessary changes to sustain and expand this success. Finally, we count many faculty members and PhD students whose academic research has provided important insights into the determinants of race and gender based inequality.

Faculty Research

We can broadly organize our areas of faculty research in categories of Race and Gender, from which we approach questions on education, organizational leadership, segregation, and political representation.  Race and Inequality have been a major research focus at Pitt economics, and we have some of the foremost scholars on the economics of gender.

Graduate Admissions

The department approaches admissions to its PhD and Master's program holistically, looking at the whole applicant and the sum of their experiences and backgrounds.  It values intangible qualities that have been shown to lead to success in graduate school.  And it aims to find reasons to include an applicant among those under consideration, rather than to exclude someone who comes to us from a background not traditionally represented in graduate Economics programs.  We offer application fee waivers to those who qualify, and we do not require GRE scores.  We do all of this in recognition of the value of diversity, and the importance of using our departmental privilege to remove barriers to graduate education and to promote the excellence of all our scholars, particularly those who have been implicitly or explicitly marginalized.

Undergraduate Student Groups

Student groups inside and outside the department promote the success of Economics students from all walks of life.

  • Behavioral Economics Club - exploring how Economics works in the real world through a fusion of psychology, culture, and so much more!
  • Women in Economics - The primary purpose of this organization is to raise awareness of the underrepresentation of undergraduate women in economics. 

Undergraduate Course Offerings

Econ 410: Economics of Diversity

This course aims to strengthen students' understanding of how race, class, gender, disability, ethnicity, nationality, culture, sexuality, religion, and age interact with public policies to influence various economic outcomes. We analyze the evolution of economic consequences on populations that have been historically disadvantaged. Specifically, we discuss how governments (especially the U.S. government) and societies deal with diversity and their level of discrimination vs inclusivity of different groups over time and across space.

Econ 430: Women in the Labor Market

The empirical evidence suggests that women earn lower income than men, and that the wage rates earned by women are lower than those of men --- even when they have similar job classifications. This course examines the role of women in the labor market; the nature of their decision to invest in education, their labor force participation, and the demand for their labor services. In this way, a framework for policy analysis is developed.  

Econ 1700: Capstone Seminar in Microeconomics (Political Economy of Immigration)
The purpose of this class is to investigate the political economy of immigration to the United States since the colonial era. We will study important historical episodes in depth, including the Know Nothing movement, the era of mass migration, and the closing of the border after World War I. In the second half of the course, we will focus on the important policy debates of the present, in particular the impact of immigration on the wages of natives and the extent of immigrant assimilation.
Econ 1910: Seminar in Diversity, Current Economic Research
This course features research by Pitt faculty exploring the impact of race, gender, immigration status, etc, in many economic contexts, as well as implications for economic fundamentals such as risk, bargaining, and competition.