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Focal Areas

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Our faculty affiliates delve deeply into a dozen focal areas that go to the heart of the most pressing economic policy issues. But economic research doesn’t always fit into just one category. That’s why you’ll find plenty of overlap in our scholars’ interests that reflects novel collaborations and innovative research agendas.

  • education


    Learn why education is one of the biggest factors in determining a person's economic outcome.
  • Energy and Environment

    Analyze the impact of environmental policy decisions being made in the United States and abroad.
  • Global Development and Trade

    Study what's behind human and economic development in low- and middle-income countries and the impact of international trade.
  • Health

    Examine the design of health care markets and insurance, the determinants of health and health care spending, and the impact disease and health crises have on economics.
  • Housing and Infrastructure

    Housing and Infrastructure

    See how housing and infrastructure policies affect economic output and the way goods and services are allocated.
  • Inequality


    Evaluate how policies affect inequities in housing and health care markets, schools and workplaces, criminal justice systems, and other areas with uneven opportunities.
  • Innovation and Technology

    Innovation and Technology

    Discover the causes and economic consequences of innovation and emerging technology like artificial intelligence.
  • Money and Finance

    Money and Finance

    Understand what shapes monetary and financial policies and their impact on millions of people.
  • Politics and Media

    Politics and Media

    Investigate how politics and the media shape societies in America and around the world.
  • Regulation and Competition

    Regulation and Competition

    Inspect the trade-offs between consumer protections and business innovation and productivity and how competition and market structure affects consumers and producers.
  • Taxes and Public Spending

    Taxes and Public Spending

    Research how taxes affect workers and businesses, and the effectiveness of government spending on defense, entitlements, education, and other programs.
  • clocking into work


    See how the labor force plays a role in shaping the economy and how policies impact workplaces, employees, and families.