Humanity faces urgent challenges—challenges whose solutions depend on marrying advanced technical and scientific capabilities with a deep understanding of the world's political, cultural, and economic complexities.
The MIT Department of Economics works at the intersection of science, technology, and human behavior, using economic science to help address the world’s most pressing challenges. Across a wide range of disciplines and research areas, we’re deeply invested in finding solutions that work.
MIT’s research into the effectiveness of different educational policies led to profound changes in many US school systems and produced market design insights now being applied to domains ranging from charter schools, to vaccines, to organ transplants, and more.
Climate change cannot be addressed through technology alone. MIT economics researchers are taking a fresh look at how technological advances lead to changes in human behavior and the consequences of those behavior changes on efforts to combat the climate crisis.
Globalization has had important impacts not only on the macroeconomy but on the wealth, health, and social fabric of the communities being transformed. We’re examining these topics from many angles: understanding the financial crisis, examining trade from both a US and global perspective, and understanding the micro effects on US workers and communities.
Building on MIT’s 20+ years of innovative online education, the Department of Economics and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab developed a MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy that equips learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor.
→ The AI We Should Fear is Already Here (Daron Acemoglu in the Washington Post)
→ Good New: There’s a Labor Shortage (David Autor in the New York Times)
→ If We Can Vaccinate the World, We Can Beat the Climate Crisis (Banerjee/Duflo in The Guardian)
→ Why Cash Is Better Than Expanded Health Insurance for the Poor (Amy Finkelstein in the New York Times)
→ The Power of Pre-K (Parag Pathak in the New York Times)