The Dean of the School of Social Sciences is Antonio Merlo, also the George A. Peterkin Professor and former department chair of economics at Rice University.
“It is a great honor to be chosen as the next dean of Rice’s School of Social Sciences,” Merlo said in an interview earlier this year. “Since my arrival at Rice in the summer of 2014, I have been extremely impressed by the university’s extraordinary accomplishments and future aspirations. I am thankful for President Leebron and Provost Miranda’s trust in my skills and ability to lead and advance the School of Social Sciences to an even higher level of excellence and impact.”
As dean, Merlo oversees the departments of Anthropology, Economics, Linguistics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Sport Management. He also supervises interdisciplinary programs, including cognitive sciences, managerial studies and social policy analysis; the school’s research institutes, centers and programs, including Douglas S. Harlan Program in State Elections, Campaigns and Politics, Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, Houston Education Research Consortium, Shell Center for Sustainability, Social Sciences Research Institute (SSRI) and the Gateway program; and the Master of Energy Economics and the Master of Global Affairs degree programs.
The first member of his family to graduate from college, Merlo earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and social sciences from Italy’s Bocconi University and a Ph.D. in economics from New York University. Before coming to Rice in 2014, Merlo taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota and New York University and has held numerous visiting positions throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Merlo’s areas of expertise are political economy, public economics, empirical microeconomics and bargaining theory and applications. He has published numerous articles in leading economics journals, including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy and the Journal of Economic Theory. He is an elected fellow of the Econometric Society. He also serves as a research fellow of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research and as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Click here to view Dean Merlo's CV.