The Department of Economics, located in the School of Social Sciences at Rice University, is a center of excellence for research and teaching in economics. Its faculty is committed to advancing knowledge in all areas of theoretical, empirical, and applied economics, to fostering a better understanding of the importance of economic research in the formulation and assessment of public policy, and to training students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in economic theory and empirical methods and their applications in a wide variety of fields.

Following the launch of the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics (RISE) and the ensuing expansion of its faculty, the department has established itself as a leading institution for structural empirical microeconomics. The structural approach to empirical economics emphasizes the importance of a rigorous combination of economic theory, econometrics, and data analysis to address substantively important issues in all areas of economics.