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Finance (Business) & Economics—Joint Degree

About the Program

The joint Wisconsin PhD Program in finance and economics trains researchers for tenure-track positions at the nexus of these two fields. Specializing in this area will provide you with the opportunity to expand your academic career path to both economics and finance departments at top universities.

The program stresses high-quality research with a focus on developing the core basics of economics, then specialization in areas of finance and economics. Students in the joint program are required to take a common curriculum and to meet all requirements of both the Economics and Finance PhD programs.

Core Areas of Research

Asset pricing

Banking

Corporate finance

Macroeconomics

Market microstructure

Metrics

Microeconomics

Finance theory

Academic Requirements

All students must meet the general PhD requirements of the UW–Madison Graduate School, the Department of Economics, and the Wisconsin School of Business. Students should have the following background to be admitted:

  • Completed and performed well in basic undergraduate economics or finance courses
  • Mathematics preparation should include multivariate calculus, elementary probability, statistics, and regression analysis
  • One course in linear algebra
  • Three-course sequence in calculus, including multivariate calculus*
  • One course in mathematical statistics*
  • Any additional background in mathematics and graduate-level economics courses can ease the transition into the program

* For additional information about which topics are most important to review before graduate coursework begins visit: https://econ.wisc.edu/doctoral/admissions/math-requirements/

Program Coursework

The first year of the program is dedicated to training in the core basics of economics with a focus on microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics. The summer following the first year of the program all students must take the economics micro and macro comprehensive exams.

The second year of the program focuses on finance with an emphasis on financial theory, corporate finance, asset pricing, and finance workshops. Finance workshops consist of each student presenting their preliminary research in front of the finance faculty. The summer following the second year of the program all students must take the finance comprehensive exam. Further, students must take three other classes in economics and present their preliminary research in front of the economics faculty.

The third year of the program includes two classes in economics and additional workshops with a focus on completing a research paper on a finance or economics topic. The topic may be either theoretical or empirical, and should contain elements of original research that extend the existing literature.

Advancement to Dissertator Status requires: (1) Successful completion of both economics and finance comprehensive exams; (2) successful completion of a sole-authored paper requirement.

Each milestone requirement—field paper, three-signature proposal, and dissertation committee—must include at least one faculty member from both the economics and the finance department. A single dissertation, approved by members comprised of both departments, is sufficient to fulfill the dissertation requirement.

Faculty Research Interests

David Brown

David Brown

Research interests:

  • Measures of risk and asymmetries in risk
  • Momentum and reversal in stock market returns
  • Liquidity in financial markets
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Briana Chang

Briana Chang

Research interests:

  • Financial intermediation
  • Market microstructure
  • Information economics
  • Search and matching theory
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Dean Corbae

P. Dean Corbae

Research interests:

  • Consumer credit
  • Bankruptcy
  • Foreclosures
  • Banking industry dynamics
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Bjorn Eraker

Bjorn Eraker

Research interests:

  • Asset pricing
  • Derivatives
  • Econometrics of financial markets
  • Equilibrium modeling
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Mark Fedenia

Mark Fedenia

Research interests:

  • Investment management
  • Wealth management
  • Liquidity
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Oliver Levine

Oliver Levine

Research interests:

  • Corporate finance
  • Corporate investment
  • Executive compensation
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Intangible capital
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Antonio Mello

Antonio Mello

Research interests:

  • Corporate financial policy
  • Corporate risk management
  • Corporate finance and industrial organization
  • Capital market imperfections and stability
  • International finance
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Dmitry Orlov

Dmitry Orlov

Research interests:

  • Banking
  • Markets for repurchase agreements
  • Bayesian Persuasion
  • Dynamic contracts
  • Mutual Funds
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Sebastien Plante

Sebastien Plante

Research interests:

  • Microstructures
  • Credit markets
  • Liquidity
  • Corporate finance
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Erwan Quintin

Erwan Quintin

Research interests:

  • Growth and development economics
  • Financial economics
  • Macroeconomics
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Roberto Robatto

Roberto Robatto

Research interests:

  • Banking
  • Macroeconomics
  • Monetary and financial economics
  • Evolutionary foundations of economic behavior
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Sang Seo

Research interests:

  • Asset pricing
  • Macro-finance
  • Derivatives
  • Financial econometrics
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Ivan Shaliastovich

Ivan Shaliastovich

Research interests:

  • Asset pricing
  • Financial econometrics
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Randall Wright

Randall Wright

Research interests:

  • Monetary, macro, and labor economics
  • Asset pricing
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Connect With Current Students

We encourage you to contact our doctoral students in the finance and economics joint degree program to hear their perspectives on the Wisconsin PhD

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See Our Placement Results

Graduates of our PhD specialization in accounting and information systems have accepted tenure-track positions at top research universities.

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Contact Us

Dean Corbae

Dean Corbae

Professor
dean.corbae@wisc.edu