Expanding Diversity in Economics: A UChicago Summer Institute

The Diversity Challenge in Economics

There is little diversity among economics majors compared to other fields. Women account for 28.4 percent of the nation’s economics majors, according to a recent study, while just 14.7 percent of economics majors are Black, Hispanic, or Native American. Diversity is important because it can inform research questions and lead to otherwise unanticipated answers. A broader range of perspectives will enhance the field’s contributions to public policy and society.

Expanding Diversity in Economics Summer Institute

The Expanding Diversity in Economics Summer Institute (EDE) is a University of Chicago program hosted by the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) designed to identify and support talented undergraduate students from a broad range of backgrounds interested in the study of economics. Our goal is to diversify the pool of students majoring in economics, who may go on to a graduate program of study, or a career drawing on this important skill set. Each year, EDE participants engage in skill-building coursework, daily lectures, and other activities to inspire learning and promote networking. Participants who successfully complete EDE receive a stipend of $1,200 and participants who are Pell Grant recipients receive a stipend of $2,400. BFI covers costs of travel, housing, and group activities for EDE participants for on-campus programming.

Program Format and Dates

The 2023 EDE Summer Institute will run from June 8 – June 30, 2023

Quantitative Skills Bootcamp: June 8 – 11

Residential On-Campus Programming at UChicago: June 12 – 24

Residential Applied Programming at Brookings in Washington, D.C.: June 25 – 30

EDE participants will travel to Chicago on June 8 and begin with three days of intense quantitative skill-building, including training in Stata programming. Participants will then begin two weeks of coursework led by UChicago faculty, receiving instruction in microeconomic analysis and introductory econometrics supplemented by TA office hours to provide support and deeper understanding of concepts. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from a range of experts in the field, in addition to private sector and policy leaders. View the 2022 EDE agenda and list of guest speakers here.

The last week of 2023 EDE programming will send students to Washington, DC, for a close look at current issues in fiscal and monetary policies and the people and institutions who make them. The DC week is hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Hutchins Center, whose mission is to improve the quality and efficacy of fiscal and monetary policies and public understanding of them.

2023 Applications

The application process for the 2023 Expanding Diversity in Economics Summer Institute is now closed. The 2023 cohort will be announced by the end of March.


Additional Background

“Talent is dispersed widely and this program will bring a wider set of people into economics. We expect that the result will be a deeper understanding of the world that ultimately allows economics to more effectively influence the world.”

Michael Greenstone, Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor, UChicago; Director, Becker Friedman Institute

Ongoing Programming & Support

As part of the EDE program, BFI provides participants ongoing opportunities to engage in a menu of research, networking, and programmatic offerings as they pursue opportunities that further their development and study of economics. Some of which include:

  • Research Assistant Programs. EDE participants may apply for a paid research assistant position to work with UChicago faculty on research projects during the academic year or following summer to enhance their skills and experience — an invaluable opportunity for participants applying to graduate programs, or for internships or research assistantships with other organizations or academic institutions.
  • Academic Year Programming. BFI offers wide-ranging workshops and programming to support EDE alumni in their economics career exploration, including resume and mock interview workshops, meet-and-greets with early career research professionals and economics PhD students, and connecting with representatives from the public and private sectors.
  • Networking Opportunities. The program fosters lasting connections among students, both within and across cohorts. Over the years, we are creating a broad network of EDE alumni who can connect over time during BFI-hosted events.