About Us

The UMKC Department of Economics offers an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. (IPhD) degree emphasizing a heterodox-pluralistic approach to economics. We train students to teach in economics programs at liberal arts colleges and research universities in the United States and abroad, and to conduct research in economic theory, applied economic issues, and policy-oriented problems.

We welcome students to join our department and to thrive in an intellectually challenging atmosphere of collegiate scholarship.


The UMKC Department of Economics has a long tradition of Institutional and Post Keynesian scholarship. Abba Lerner started his U.S. career here in 1936. John Hodges, the first Ph.D. student of C. E. Ayres, began as department chair in 1946. He started the tradition in Institutional economics, and it has been continuously in place since. Robert Brazelton brought the Post Keynesian tradition to the Department when he came in the 1960s. It too has prospered here.

Members of the Department are long standing participants in the Association for Evolutionary Economics, Association of Social Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, Association for Institutional Thought, Association for Heterodox Economics, Conference of Socialist Economists, European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy, and the Association for Economic and Social Analysis.


The objective of the IPhD program in Economics at UMKC is to provide the student with the research training and tools necessary to contribute to the expansion of economic theory and to apply that theory to the development of dynamic public policy. Students receive a thorough grounding in heterodox economic theory.

This is done through the combination of required and elective courses that are concerned with theoretical, empirical, and policy issues that draw upon particular features of the theory. The program also provides students with an understanding of research methodology and research methods and techniques, including econometrics and qualitative methods, and a critical understanding of neoclassical theory.