A joint degree offered by HBS and the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the PhD in Business Economics combines economic analysis with the practical aspects of business. This degree is primarily intended to prepare students for careers in research and teaching in business administration and related fields of economics. The general management approach of the Harvard Business School is an important ingredient in the program.

The program is distinguished from the Harvard PhD in Economics by its greater emphasis on business fields and its focus on the use of economic analysis and statistical methods in dealing effectively with management problems. At the same time, it is distinguished from the Doctor of Business Administration degree by its greater emphasis on economic theory and econometric analysis.

Possible fields of specialization include:

  • Corporate finance
  • Organizations and markets
  • International business
  • Business strategy and industrial organization
  • Corporate governance
  • Business and government

Students take an active role in selecting and defining the combination of subjects that will make up their own individual fields of specialization.

More detailed questions that have recently been examined include:

  • Theoretical and empirical finance, with emphasis on the role of market structure in price formation
  • The relationship between organizational form and corporate investment decisions
  • The impact of financial flows - ranging from international aid to private bank credit - on the lives of the poor