PhD in Applied Economics and Management Program

Why Earn a PhD in Applied Economics from Dyson?

Our fully-funded STEM-designated PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) program in Applied Economics and Management (AEM) ranks amongst the best applied economics programs globally in terms of research output. We offer rigorous training in applied theory and empirical models that train PhD students to construct and solve models that are at the frontier of research in four areas:  

Learn more about the PhD program requirements and eligibility for PhD admission.

PhD in Applied Economics Program Concentrations

The current research concentration areas of our AEM Graduate Field Faculty and graduate students are:

Concentration #1: Environmental, Energy, and Resource Economics (EERE)

The environmental, energy, and resource economics (EERE) PhD concentration faculty focus on the economics of the environment, energy, natural resources, and sustainability. Topics of concentrated strength among EERE faculty include climate change, air and water quality, renewable and non-renewable energy, transportation, groundwater, and policy evaluation.

Our research methods are broad and include frontier uses of big data, computationally intensive methods, dynamic structural models, interdisciplinary analyses, and modern empirical methods.  Unique opportunities for PhD in environmental economics exist with the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) and the Cornell Institute for China Economic Research (CICER).

Concentration #2: Food and Agricultural Economics (FAE)

The agricultural economics PhD concentration faculty focus broadly on the economics of food and agriculture, from farm to table, with global reach. Topics of research strength among FAE faculty include agricultural finance, behavioral economics, food and agricultural policies and markets, climate change, food retailing and marketing, labor issues, regional economics, sustainability of food systems, cooperatives, and farm management.

Our PhD in agriculture economics-focused research uses a variety of methods, encompassing experimental economics, applied industrial organization, optimization models, multi-disciplinary analyses, big data analysis techniques, and cutting-edge econometric techniques. Faculty also collaborates extensively within and beyond the school with other social and natural scientists. Unique opportunities for students exist with the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF), the Lab for Experimental Economics & Decision Research (LEEDR), the Food Industry Management Program (FIMP), Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), and Cornell University Cooperative Enterprise Program (CEP).

Concentration #3: International and Development Economics (IDE)

Our international and development economics PhD concentration research covers a wide range of topics, including poverty and inequality; labor markets; food, agriculture, and nutrition; urbanization; migration; exchange rates and capital flows; law and governance issues; and sustainable development. Members of our group employ the full suite of tools in applied economic research, including lab experiments, field experiments, randomized control trials, time series analysis, structural modeling, evaluation of natural experiments, and analysis of survey and administrative data.

We also develop frontier theoretical models for a wide range of development topics in the areas of trade, poverty and resilience measurement, public works programs, minimum wages, labor markets, and others. There are excellent opportunities for PhD in international economics focused students to engage with research and teaching in the IDE area through the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Tata-Cornell Institute, Emerging Markets Institute, and Einaudi Center for International Studies.

Concentration #4: Management (MGMT)

There are three specific areas that Management concentration faculty within the PhD in Applied Economics and Management Program specialize in:

  • 1. Real Estate Economics (REE): Faculty in this area focus on issues related to real estate and to some extent urban economics. One area of interest is centered on commercial real estate finance which includes but is not limited to capital structure, financial innovations, investment performance, securitization, and valuation. Another area of interest includes housing economics and urban economics, in particular, principal-agent issues, information asymmetry, and tall buildings. Future areas of interest include the intersection between corporate finance and real estate/urban issues.
  • 2. Strategy and Business Economics (SBE): Faculty in this area focus on a variety of questions related to strategy, economics, and business. One area of interest is centered on strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship, in particular digitization, technology strategy, human capital management, and nonprofit strategy. Another area of interest includes microeconomics and behavioral economics, in particular, industrial organization, antitrust, labor, and organizational economics.
  • 3. Finance: Finance faculty in Dyson focus on empirical finance issues. Current areas of research include empirical asset pricing, behavioral finance, climate finance, household finance, corporate finance, financial institutions, and international finance.

Apply for the Applied Economics and Management PhD Program

If a fully-funded PhD in Applied Economics and Management (AEM) interests you and you’re considering taking the next step, we invite you to learn about our PhD Admissions eligibility and how to apply.