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Message From the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Economics at McGill University. Our department provides a high quality of education at all levels, with undergraduate Minor, Major and Honours degree programs as well as graduate study for the Master’s and Ph.D. degrees, all offered by scholars of international reputation and in the company of excellent students from around the world.

Beyond knowledge of economic theory per se, the training that we offer in Economics also embodies  mathematical and statistical skills, institutional and historical knowledge, and more general analytical and reasoning skills. At the undergraduate level, the Department offers programs for a variety of different needs: some students want technical training that will prepare them for graduate study in Economics, while others take a degree in Economics as part of a general liberal education and primarily require familiarity with the great ideas and insights of the subject.  Regardless of the program that a student chooses, we believe that studying Economics is an excellent way to develop one's quantitative ability, abstract reasoning, and knowledge of important features of the way the world works.

The range of areas covered by the term Economics might surprise those who have not studied the subject.  Members of our department are engaged in research on such diverse subjects as: strategic interactions among individuals; the evolution and prediction of volatility in financial markets; the optimal design of policies and mechanisms, including policies for practical problems such as natural resource use or the control of greenhouse gas emissions; statistical methods for the treatment of the non-experimental data that are common in the social sciences; economic growth and development and appropriate institutions and policies to encourage them; health care choices and the impact of such choices on individual well-being and on the broader economy; institutions and individual behaviour in labour markets and the effects of these; the behaviour of individuals in uncertain situations and the design of experiments to investigate it; the processes governing economic aggregates such as national income, inflation and unemployment; and numerous other topics. There is tremendous scope within Economics for the use of human ingenuity to contribute to the understanding of important problems and to the smoother functioning of human institutions.

We believe that McGill, located in the centre of the charming and cosmopolitan city of Montreal, is an excellent environment in which to pursue an education in Economics.  We hope that the information on these pages will give you some idea of these opportunities.


John W. Galbraith
Chair, Department of Economics