About - Economics Department

Our degree programs take advantage of a competent pool of faculty, an outstanding library, as well as superior computing and other educational facilities on campus. The training and instruction provided by the Department of Economics reflect its mission to produce Filipino and Asian economists and leaders who make sound analyses of socio-economic phenomena and contribute to public policy and nation-building, while grounded in the service for others and social justice.

The Department of Economics and Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development (ACERD) welcome visiting professors and scholars for any duration to conduct and present researches, as well as international exchange students to pursue a semester or two of coursework at Ateneo de Manila University. Students of the Department of Economics can spend a semester abroad as exchange students in our partner institutions in Australia, Austria, Cambodia, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Macao, Norway, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and United States of America, or in ASEAN University Network-member institutions.


The following are the objectives of the Department of Economics:

  • To build on what we have accomplished in the area of teaching and research in order to become a leading institution in our discipline;
  • To strengthen our mission to teach and train students in economic analysis and methodology in order to develop individuals who can contribute effectively to policy formulation, basic and advanced teaching in economics and research;
  • To develop further our capability and expertise in theory and empirical research, directed to the generation and communication of new knowledge and ideas in economics and to the effective design of policy in the country.

A Brief History

Over the past fifty years, the Ateneo Economics Department has distinguished itself with its rich history and the countless contributions its alumni have made to Philippine society.
The Economics Department started out as a subdepartment of Social Science. Although it was recognized as a separate department, Economics had no official head and was under control of the chair of Social Science. When the Economics Department was finally established in 1953, it had only Rev. Michael McPhelin, S.J. as its lone faculty member. He became the first moderator of the Economics of the Ateneo (ESA) when it was founded in 1962.
In the school year 1957-1958, the Economics Department achieved greater autonomy with the appointment of a chair separate from that of the Department of Social Science. This was Rev. William J. Nicholson, S.J., who was one of four faculty members in 1955. A notable faculty member who also became chair of the Department was Dr. Vicente Valdepeñas, who would subsequently become the director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). He is currently a member of the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The year 1970 was significant for the Economics Department. For the first time, it acquired female faculty, among them Victoria Valdez, Ellen Palanca, and later Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The last two would go on to acquire doctorates and continue teaching in the Department. Mrs. Macapagal –Arroyo would eventually leave the academe to become a member of the Aquino cabinet, senator, vice president, and President of the Republic.
Today, the Ateneo Economics Department is widely recognized as one of the most important academic groups in the country. It boasts of faculty members who not only provide analytical assistance to government agencies, multilateral organizations and non-government organizations, but also lead their students into careers that are dedicated to the improvement of the national economy and national well-being.
The Department tirelessly and resolutely charts new directions for growth and development. It continues to offer the bachelor's and master programs begun in 1951, the Management Economics Program introduced in 1984, and the Ph.D. program initiated in 2002. Three thousand men and women have graduated with degrees in the Department's various courses, and thousands more will follow in the coming years.
Indeed, the Economics Department of the Ateneo de Manila is keeping alive the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence and service to God and the Filipino people.