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The PhD Program in Political Economy and Government (PEG) combines rigorous training in economics, formal theory, and methods with a substantive focus on the interaction between economic and political institutions and processes. Students typically combine coursework from different Harvard schools and departments for a truly interdisciplinary program of study. It is the oldest graduate program dedicated to political economy in the country, starting in the 1930s.
Students and faculty members in the PEG program share an intellectual interest in the impact of politics on economic processes and outcomes, and the reciprocal influence of economic conditions on political life. It covers such diverse areas as international economic relations, political development, political and economic institutions, institutional transition and reform, economic performance, environmental resource policies, and social policy.
With an eye to building careers in an academic world still divided into separate disciplines, the program offers two different tracks: one in economics and one in political science. The two tracks have somewhat different emphases, but both offer ample opportunities for students to tailor courses to their individual needs; both offer ample opportunities for students to create a suite of courses tailored to their individual needs.
Emphasizing positive – as opposed to normative – political economy, almost any substantive interest can be accommodated by the exceptionally diverse and distinguished faculty members.
PEG is a collaborative program between HKS, the Department of Economics, and the Department of Government. It involves many of the world's leading political economists and is aimed at top academic or policy-making careers.
Admission to the PhD in Political Economy and Government Program is competitive. Of the approximately 200 applications received each year, no more than five students are admitted to the program.
Our recent PhD in Political Economy and Government graduates have gone on to take academic positions at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, London School of Economics and Political Science, Stanford University, Yale University, and other top academic institutions.
Others have developed analyst or policy careers at the Federal Reserve Bank, World Bank, nongovernmental organizations, and in the private sector.