Dating to the 1930s, the PhD Program in Political Economy and Government (PEG) is the oldest graduate program in the country dedicated to political economy.

Since that time, PEG has become the premier program for global scholars like you who want a deeper understanding of the impact of politics on economic processes and outcomes—and the reciprocal influence of economic conditions on political life.

PEG PhD candidate Sara Lowes finds herself at the intersection of development economics, political economy and economic history. “The PEG program was a great fit for me. Since it’s by definition multi-departmental and interdisciplinary, it allowed me to pursue creative and interesting work.”

Sara Lowes PEG PhD Candidate

The Complete PhD

With an eye to building careers in an academic world still divided into separate disciplines, PEG 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 you to tailor courses to your individual needs.

PEG gives you rigorous training in economics, formal political theory and quantitative methods, along with a substantive focus on the interaction between economic and political institutions and processes. You'll combine coursework from different Harvard departments and schools for a truly interdisciplinary program of study that covers:

  • International economic relations
  • Political development
  • Political and economic institutions
  • Institutional transition and reform
  • Economic performance
  • Environmental resource policies
  • Social policy
  • Inequality

A collaborative program between HKS, the Department of Economics and the Department of Government, PEG emphasizes positive—as opposed to normative—political economy. Our diverse and distinguished faculty members include many of the world's leading political economists who are ready to help you pursue any substantive interest.