Randall Walsh, PhD

Randall P. Walsh is a Professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh, and a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research is focused in the areas of urban and environmental economics. In more recent work he has been particularly interested in looking at these issues through the lenses of economic history and political economy. Professor Walsh teaches in the MQE Program, advises students, and develops relationships with professional partners. He teaches the Evidence-Based Analysis in Labor, Public, and Health Economics course in the MQE program. 

Q: As the MQE Director, what are the features of Pitt MQE that makes this program shine above similar programs?

A: “There are six dimensions of the program that make MQE unique.”

Our mix of data science and economics; it gives students the ability to implement data analysis but also determine what questions to ask and how they will interpret patterns in that data
The quality of the faculty who designed their courses specifically for the program
The Capstone projects, within which students are solving real world problems for clients who are invested in the project outcomes
The training and support we provide to help students navigate the process of finding a job- resume development, interview skills, personalized counseling and advising- from the identifying the first job opening to negotiating
Our talented advisory board, which is actively engaged in both shaping the program and providing direct opportunities for students
Our diversity of its students and cohorts- they come from an amazingly broad set of life experiences- personally, professionally, and academically; this diversity is a core strength of our program

Q: As a professor, what do you love most about teaching economics and what skills do you wish students will gain from your classes?

A: “I love helping students transition from being consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge. In the MQE Program, we help students make the transition from relying on us to answer questions, to becoming true analysts and asking those questions themselves and applying the tools they have developed to answer them.”

Q: What advice would you give to MQE students to become successful in the field of economics or beyond?

A: “Work hard in your coursework, confront the difficult questions, and when you enter the workforce, view every task as an opportunity to help those around you succeed along with you as you pursue your own goals.”

Dr. Randall Walsh currently serves as Co-Editor of the journal Economic Inquiry. His research on environmental quality and the demographic composition of neighborhoods has been supported by both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Walsh’s broader service has included participation in EPA sponsored workshops on Regulating Hazardous Air Pollutants and Incorporating Environmental Justice Concerns into E.P.A. Rulemaking. He currently serves on the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Justice Technical Guidance Panel. He also served on the Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Toxics Committee. Dr. Walsh is currently a member of the Academic Advisory Committee for the University of Pittsburgh’s Center on Race and Social Problems and sits on the University of Pittsburgh’s Urban Studies Faculty Advisory Committee.