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Business, Economics and Public Policy (BEPP)

BEPP faculty are known for their research at the intersection between business strategy and public policy. We welcome applications from exceptional prospective PhD students interested in this broad field. Under close supervision of the faculty, PhD students are expected to develop an independent research stream in one or more areas of BEPP faculty expertise.

In general, the research of BEPP faculty touches on several major themes, including regulation, non-market strategy, energy and environmental issues, innovation and industrial evolution, and emerging economies. Much of BEPP research is focused on understanding (both directly and indirectly) how firms can gain a competitive advantage in the context of important political, social, and economic factors. Faculty use a range of econometric techniques and data sources to study these questions, and draw on both economic and strategic management theories.

The BEPP group is committed to developing strong researchers who will succeed in academic careers at research-oriented universities. Our program begins with two years of rigorous coursework, during which time students take PhD-level courses at both Ivey and Western University’s economics department. After passing comprehensive exams, each student then works towards developing an independent research program, culminating in a thesis.

The following are examples of ongoing work being conducted by BEPP faculty:

  • Exploring how firms build competitive advantage and modern industries develop, especially in weak institutional environments.
  • Studying how corporations and other interest groups influence public policy through information-based channels like lobbying.
  • Assessing how regulations and policy shape firm decisions, and determining what this means for firm outcomes.
  • Studying the links between firm- and industry-dynamics and environmental quality.
  • Exploring energy markets in Canada and abroad.
  • Investigating the formal relationships between firms and external stakeholders such as Indigenous communities.

We encourage applications from students interested in gaining a deeper background in both economics and strategic management, and building strong econometric skills. Some prior education in economics is strongly encouraged.

BEPP group faculty are active in Ivey’s research Centres and Institutes, including the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre and the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management.

*Please note that BEPP is a stream under General Management

Areas of Research Focus

  • Regulation
  • Energy and environment
  • Stakeholder management
  • Non-market strategy
  • Political and regulatory risk
  • Emerging markets

Faculty research is regularly published in the top management and social sciences journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, American Economic Journal, Canadian Journal of Economics, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Management Science, Organization Science, Review of Economics and Statistics, and Strategic Management Journal.

PhD Student Opportunities

The BEPP group welcomes applications from qualified candidates that are interested in conducting research into themes related to their research interests.

Post-graduate Opportunities

The doctoral program in BEPP is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers in top business schools, either within Strategy or Business Economics departments. The program integrates core areas of study in economics, including industrial organization, managerial economics and political economy, with study in management fields.

PhD Graduates

Kartik Rao
Assistant Professor, Ivey Business Foundations, Western University

Kartik Rao
PhD Dissertation:

Perspectives on Firm Strategies in the Non-Market Environment

The non-market environment, which includes “the rules of the game” that govern economic interactions in the market, plays a central role in the ability of firms to create economic value and to sustain competitive advantage. This dissertation focuses on firms’ interactions with different elements of the non-market environment and is comprised of three essays..... Read more about this thesis

Discipline Coordinator

Nouri Najjar

I am an applied microeconomist working primarily on environmental issues, with a focus on firms and the environment. My recent work shows how changes at the firm in response to environmental policy contribute to a cleaner economy, and how environmental policy affects a firm’s decision to participate in foreign markets.

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