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The  Department of Economics is a highly active and research oriented department that emphasizes excellence in the core areas of economics: Game Theory and Microeconomic Theory, Macroeconomic Theory, and Applied Econometrics. Since 1969, the department offers an excellent PhD program, currently attracting students from more than 15 nationalities, with placements in top academic and government institutions, as well as the private sector. The department also offers a newly established MA program that aims at preparing students for successful careers in industry and the government. In addition, the BA program in economics is one of the largest undergraduate majors in the university, also attracting an increasing number of students from other majors.

The department enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in Strategic Thinking thanks to the  Center for Game Theory in Economics, which was founded in 1989. With the continuous support from the NSF during the last several years, the center has organized the most important yearly conference in game theory in the profession. It has attracted many Nobel laureates in economics, such as, Robert Aumann, John Nash, Eric Maskin, Alvin Roth, and Lloyd S. Shapley. The department also has a prominent group of researchers in the other core areas, who are currently studying some of the most pressing economic issues affecting our societies. These include the effects of aging on the social insurance system, the relationship between the current financial crisis and the housing sector, and the consequences of urbanization in developing countries. The research on some of these issues has appeared in journals like Nature and Science, as well as popular media like the New York Times and the US News and World Report.