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Research in Economics

Studying at a research university is an exciting experience. Students are surrounded by individuals and teams who are constantly pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. On a daily basis, students are challenged to determine where holes exist in human knowledge, and how to solve these mysteries. Students are not only encouraged to participate in research, but are provided with the means by which to do so.  

The primary ways in which undergraduate students can become involved with research in Economics are: working as a research assistant to  faculty members; pursuing one's own research project; taking research methods courses; and writing a Tepper Honors Thesis in Economics.

Tepper School of Business has produced eight Nobel Prize winners in Economics: Robert Lucas, Merton Miller, Franco Modigliani, Herb Simon, Edward Prescott, Finn Kydland, Oliver Williamson and Dale Mortensen. Lucas was awarded the prize for his pioneering work on rational expectations theory and its implications for government macroeconomic and regulatory policies. Modigliani's prize recognized his path-breaking life-cycle theory of consumer savings, an important component in all modern macroeconomic models. Miller's prize was awarded in recognition of his contributions to corporate finance. The results of his research -- in collaboration with Franco Modigliani -- are now taught in every business school in the country. Simon's prize was given for his seminal development of the idea of bounded rationality in economics, and the need to focus on human behavior as well as markets in order to understand the workings of a large industrial economy. In 2004, Kydland and Prescott became the next Nobel Prize recipients from the business school. Their work together advanced the field of dynamic macroeconomics and transformed the practice of monetary and fiscal policy in many countries. In 2009, Williamson was selected for: “his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm.” Williamson studied and conducted research at Carnegie Mellon University at a pivotal time in the history of modern business management education, an academic discipline that had been created only a few years earlier. He was an integral part of a group of students and faculty that forged a new path in business research and education. Mortensen, performed the research that awarded him the Nobel prize at Northwestern University, earned his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (now the Tepper School of Business) in 1967.

Student Research Opportunities and Support

Titles of 2012 Senior Honors Theses in Economics:

  • Courtney Chen: Are Luxury Goods Pro Cyclical: Studying the Volatility Effects (Advisor: Prof. Yaroslav Kryukov)
  • Alisa Deychman: Examining Kimberly-Clark and Scott Paper Merger (Advisor: Prof. Timothy Derdenger)
  • Swati Gupta: Effects of Financial Constraints on Innovation Races and Clinical Trials (Advisor: Prof. Yaroslav Kryukov)
  • Yaqi Niu: The Determinants of Self-Employment in Mexico and Household Transitions between 2002 and 2005 (Prof. Rebecca Lessem)
  • Ashish Thakrar: The Rising Cost of Diabetes Care: Annual Variations in Expenditures, Decomposed by Price and Utilization (Prof. Marty Gaynor)
  • Lyubov Zeylikman: What's the Deal with Free Shipping? (Prof. George-Levi Gayle)

The full text of these and previous Senior Honors Theses in Economics can be found in the Carnegie Mellon University Electronic Archives.

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