UBC Vancouver School of Economics

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UBC Vancouver School of Economics
Established 1915 [1] (formerly known as the Department of Economics)
Type School
Director Thomas Lemieux
Undergraduates 1,238
Location Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
49°16′0.92″N 123°14′50.88″W / 49.2669222°N 123.2474667°W / 49.2669222; -123.2474667Coordinates: 49°16′0.92″N 123°14′50.88″W / 49.2669222°N 123.2474667°W / 49.2669222; -123.2474667
Affiliations University of British Columbia
Website economics.ubc.ca

The Vancouver School of Economics is a school of the University of British Columbia located in Vancouver, BC. The School consistently ranks as one of the top 25 in the world and top in Canada.[2][3][4] The School has a solid tradition of research, high quality of undergraduate and graduate education, and community involvement, especially in the area of economic policy.

International Rankings and Recognitions[edit]

The Vancouver School of Economics ranks consistently as one of the world's top economic academic units and the best in Canada.[2]

- The Vancouver School of Economics is ranked first in Canada, according to a November 2013 study done by IDEAS [5]

- 15th in the world for academic reputation and 24th overall (1st in Canada) by the 2011 QS World University Rankings by Subject Social Sciences - Economics & Econometrics.[6]

- 16th in the world (1st in Canada) by the Times Higher Education ranking for the social sciences category, which includes economics.[7]

- 23rd in the world (2nd in Canada) by Tilburg University based on research contribution from 2007-2011.[8]

- 24th in the world (1st in Canada) by the Academy Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for the economics/business category in 2010.[9]

- 24th in the world (1st in Canada) from 1990-2000 period by Dr. Tom Coupe, director of the Kyiv School of Economics in an independent study that included the use of 11 methodologies.[4]

- 25th in the world (1st in Canada) as of June, 2012 by the Research Papers in Economics.[3]

-25th in the world (2nd in Canada) by the The Tilburg University Top 100 Worldwide Economics Schools Research Ranking based on research contribution 2007-2011.[8]

In addition, the School's faculty have won 5 of the 11 John Rae Prizes given by the Canadian Economics Association. This prize is awarded to the Canadian economist with the best recent research.[10]


The Vancouver School of Economics serves as the administrative home to the Canadian Labour Market and Skills Research Network, a network of academic researchers working on issues related to the labour market, skills development and public policy.[11]

The School manages the British Columbia Inter-University Research Data Centre. The RDC provides access, for approved projects, to selected confidential Statistics Canada micro-level data.[11]

Additionally, the School operates the Experimental Lab, an active hive for research in the emerging field of experimental economics; and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Economics, a collaborative teaching and research initiative by the Vancouver School of Economics and the Strategy and Business Economics Division, Sauder School of Business.


Buchanan Tower, Vancouver School of Economics' main office


Bachelor of Arts in Economics Programs: Honours, Major/Combined Major, Minor, and Second Degree (third year entry into programs)

Bachelor of International Economics Program (direct entry, 4-year, cohort-based degree)

Master of Arts in Economics Program (12-month program)

Doctoral Program

2013/14 Academic Year Enrolment Statistics

2002, UBC's Faculty of Arts has expanded the number of full-time equivalent undergraduate student spaces in economics by 50%, as it is one of the most popular areas of study at UBC. Admittance to an academic program in economics at UBC is highly competitive. Academic programs in economics in UBC's Faculty of Arts are all administrated by the Vancouver School of Economics (formerly the Department of Economics). For instance, for the September 2013 intake for the 85 spaces in the BIE program over 2,100 applications were received; and over 480 applications were submitted for the 284 third-year spaces available in the Majors program.

Undergraduate BA programs (honours, major/combined majors, minors, dual degrees) – 1,042 students. Additionally, several hundred students take undergraduate BA courses in economics each term as general electives. Undergraduate BIE program – 84 students for the inaugural year of the program. Graduate MA program – 45 students in the 2013/14 academic year Graduate PhD program – 67 students in the 2013/14 academic year; admits an entering class of about 15 students annually.

Faculty and alumni[edit]

Robert Mundell, Nobel Laureate in Economics

The Vancouver School of Economics (formerly called the Department of Economics) has many reputable faculty and alumni, including:

  • Robert C. Allen was a professor in the VSE from 1980-1985 and 1985-2000.[16] He is a Professor of Economic History at Oxford University. He is the author of: 'Enclosure and the Yeoman: The Agricultural Development of the South Midlands, 1450-1850 (1992), Farm to Factory: A Re-interpretation of the Soviet Industrial Revolution (2003), The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective (2009). He was awarded the Ranki Prize of the Economic History Association for his 1992 and 2003 works.

Current Faculty[edit]

In September 2013, the School had 67 faculty members specialize in a wide range of topics, including banking policy, taxation effects, global macroeconomics, labour market and skills development, gender and environmental economics, developmental economics, economic history, and the emerging field of experimental economics.

Vancouver School of Economics faculty members include eight researchers affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, six researchers affiliated with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, two current and one former research fellow of the Bank of Canada, two elected fellows of the Econometric Society, four fellows of the Royal Society of Canada, and one of the Distinguished Fellows of the American Economics Association.

Professors Emeritus – 16 Professorial Faculty (Professors, Associate Professors and Assistant Professors) – 38 Lecturers, Instructors and Visiting Faculty – 13 Affiliated Economics Faculty (Strategy and Business Economics Division, Sauder School of Business) – 7