What is the role of markets in developing economic policy?

The Center for Economic Policy's mission is to educate students on financial markets and securities and provide an integrated view of how these markets interact in a general equilibrium context, as well as the economic tools to analyze the regulatory and legal framework in which financial markets operate.

Financial markets and government policy have always been central to economic growth, social welfare, and civil society. Whether it is the government debt consolidation undertaken by the South Sea Company (and Bank of England) in the early 1700s or the rise in mortgage debt in the United States in the early 2000s, policy decisions and the legal framework in which we operate have always been inextricably linked with financial markets and economic outcomes.

Certificates: Finance & Policy and Markets & Regulation

The Center for Economic Policy is responsible for two certificates: Finance & Policy and Markets and Regulation. Both certificates aim to integrate the study of markets with public policy. The certificate curricula provide students with required and elective courses. The center also undertakes targeted and focused research programs relevant to finance, markets, and public policy, in the University of Chicago tradition that ties education closely with rigorous and disciplined research.

The center aims to train certificate holders for positions at government agencies and private institutions that operate at the intersection of economic policymaking and markets, positions that require a combination of strong economic training, technical skills, and understanding of financial markets.

Center-Sponsored Activities

The History of Chicago Economics

The Center, together with Thomas Coleman from Harris Public Policy and Allen Sanderson from the University of Chicago Griffin Department of Economics, is hosting a quarterly series of lectures about the people and ideas that have animated economics at Chicago and in the world more widely.

Center for Economic Policy Speaker Series (flyer)

The Center invites speakers to discuss with students important issues in economic policy and markets.

The Center invites speakers to discuss with students important issues in economic policy and markets.

Autumn 2020 Speaker Series (all at 9am Chicago time)

  • Friday October 30th: Impact Investing & ESG, with John Oxtoby and Leah Yablonka (Ariel Investments). This year, investments incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles surpassed $1 trillion for the first time. Practitioners John Oxtoby and Leah Yablonka lead a conversation exploring the ESG/impact investing landscape and rapidly evolving public policy and regulatory context. They will also discuss career paths in the field.
  • Friday November 6th: Antitrust and Competition Policy: an Economist's View on Putting Policy into Practice, with Lawrence Wu (President NERA Economic Consulting). Recording
  • Friday November 20th: The Role of Modern Central Banking, with Joseph Tracy (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas). Mr. Tracy will discuss the role of research in central banking, the role of research and forecasting in the age of covid, and the how and why the role of central banks and monetary policy is changing in today's world. Recording

More About Our Autumn 2020 Speakers

  • John Oxtoby is Vice President, Director of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing at Ariel Investing. Prior to joining Ariel, he was a White House aide to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Associate Director of the President’s Jobs Council. He earned his BA and MBA from Harvard University.
  • Leah Yablonka, ESG Research Analyst, Ariel Investments. Prior to joining Ariel, Leah was a management consultant at PwC. She earned a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and her BS from the University of Maryland.
  • Lawrence Wu is an antitrust economist and President of NERA Economic Consulting, a global firm of consulting experts. Before joining NERA, he was a staff economist at the Federal Trade Commission. He earned his PhD from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1992. For more, go to https://www.nera.com/experts/dr-lawrence-wu.html
  • Joseph Tracy is Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor to the President, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He joined the Dallas Fed in September 2017. Mr. Tracy was previously executive vice president and senior advisor to the president at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He previously served as the Bank's director of research. He joined the New York Fed in 1996 after teaching at Yale and Columbia universities. He is a native of Missouri and holds a BA from the University of Missouri and PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.

Selected Past Speakers

  • Emerging Markets and Exploding Foreign Exchange Regimes, (May 29th 2020) with David DeRosa (author, former currency trader, and Chicago alum). 
  • ESG and Impact Investing in the Age of covid-19, (May 7th 2020) with John Oxtoby (Vice President and Director of Impact Investing, Ariel Investments); Leah Yablonka (ESG Research Analyst, Ariel Investments); Jon Samuels (Partner, The Vistria Group); Priya Parrish (Managing Partner, Impact Engine). Links to resources for ESG and Impact Investing
  • Securitization and the 2008 Financial Crisis (May 2nd 2019) with Matt Jacobs (former AIG FP) and Brook Payner (former Natixis Real Estate Capital). 
Thomas Coleman

Senior Lecturer

Thomas Coleman

Thomas Coleman is a Lecturer at the Harris School - focused on teaching students about financial markets.