About Us

The Department of Economics at the University of Alberta was established in 1964; a result of the split of the Department of Political Economy into the departments of Political Science and Economics.  In 1964 the total enrollment in Economics courses was 1,233.  Currently, we have over 8,000 undergraduate students enrolled in our courses.  Our graduate program typically includes over 60 students enrolled in the PhD, Master's and Master's in Economics and Finance programs.

The roots of the word 'Economics' originate with the Greek words “oikos” (household) and “nomos” (rules or laws). Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Xenophon first observed the economic behavior of estates, which were the economic unit of analysis much like factories and firms are in today's economy. From the interactions of these units emerged systematic patterns of behavior that appeared to be laws or norms of behavior. Economics is a social science that attempts to explain such phenomena through the use of mathematical, logical, historical and philosophical analysis.

The Department is home to approximately 24 full-time faculty whose research activities cover a broad spectrum of topics, including: Resource Economics; Environmental Economics; Public Finance; International and Financial Market Economics; Applied Macroeconomics; Industrial Organization; and Labour Economics.

We invite you to visit the pages on this site for further information on our faculty, graduate programs, course offerings and research.

Alumni - if you would like us to keep in touch, please send your updated contact information to:  brenda.carrier@ualberta.ca


  1. Economics Students awarded Summer Internships

  2. West, Eckert and He Awarded Elsevier Prize for Most Innovative Paper

  3. Junaid Jahangir Wins Award

    Congratulations to Dr. Junaid bin Jahangir on being selected as a recipient of the 2014 William Hardy Alexander Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. This award provides recognition of Dr. Jahangir's contributions to teaching excellence by colleagues and especially by students, past and present.

  4. Department Gathers to Celebrate and Reflect

    Department staff, alumni and friends gathered on a sunny Saturday in April for one more round of "top ten".

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  1. Economics Micro Seminar: Mar Reguant (Stanford University)

    September 19

    03:00 - 04:30 PM

    "Blowin' in the Wind: Sequential Markets, Market Power and Arbitrage" joint work with Koichiro Ito (Boston University)

  2. Economics Macro Seminar: Tatyana Koreshkova (Concordia University)

    September 26

    03:30 - 05:00 PM

    "Old, Sick, Alone, and Poor: A Welfare Analysis of Old-Age Social Insurance Programs"

  3. Economics Micro Seminar: Martino Pelli (U of Sherbrooke)

    October 01

    03:30 - 05:00 PM

    “From Fossil Fuels to Renewables: the Role of Electricity Storage” (joint with Linda Nostbakken and Itziar Lazkano) Abstract: The increased focus on renewable energy sources has sparked considerable interest in developing better energy storage solutions. Since renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are highly variable and unpredictable, significant use of renewables in the energy mix requires better storage solutions. We analyze the determinants of innovation in electricity storage, and study the role of storage in increasing the share of renewable energy. We propose a theoretical model of production and innovation in the electricity sector, where endogenous energy storage innovations affect the relative competitiveness between clean and dirty electricity sources. Next, we empirically test the predictions of our model using a unique global firm-level dataset of electricity patents. Our results suggest that electricity storage plays an important role for the direction of technological innovation in electricity generation (clean vs dirty), and should be considered separately from clean technologies to gain a complete understanding of the incentive structure.

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