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

The Center invites speakers to discuss with students important issues in economic policy and markets. Topics and speakers scheduled for this spring are

  • Emerging Markets and Exploding Foreign Exchange Regimes, (May 29th 2020) with David DeRosa (author, former currency trader, and Chicago alum). David DeRosa discussed the role of exchange rate regimes (fixed, floating, managed peg) in financial crises. Mr. DeRosa's book In Defense of Free Capital Markets argues that official intervention in FX markets can make matters worse and that it is better to follow the invisible hand of the market rather than the visible hand of official intervention.
  • 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). Professor Thomas Coleman led a virtual panel discussion with four experts exploring the field of ESG and Impact Investing and how investors are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. They also discussed the overall landscape and career paths in the field. 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). Two Chicago alums with front-row seats to the 2008 financial crisis discuss their experiences and the role of securitization during a panel moderated by Professor Coleman. 
Thomas Coleman

Senior Lecturer

Thomas Coleman

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