For students who are graduating in economics and like doing research, but do not want to stay in academia, are there any options besides my list?

My list so far:

  • Central Banks

  • OECD

  • World Bank

  • IMF (?)

  • UN organizations (WHO, FAO etc) (?)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why non-private? $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2023 at 19:08

2 Answers 2


Here are a few:

Public Sector/Government Agencies

In addition to central banks, there are other governmental organizations and agencies that hire economic researchers. These can include:

  • National statistical offices: Offices such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.K.'s Office for National Statistics, or Statistics Canada often need economists to analyze and interpret economic data.

  • Policy research organizations: Government-backed think tanks and research organizations, such as the Congressional Research Service in the U.S., often hire economists to help inform policy decisions.

  • Regulatory bodies: Organisations like the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S., the Competition and Markets Authority in the U.K., or the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition in the EU, often require economists to analyze market behavior and competition dynamics.

Private Sector

The private sector also has many opportunities for economic researchers:

  • Economic consulting firms: Firms like McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, or Bain & Company often hire economists for research and analysis.

  • Market research firms: Companies like Nielsen, Ipsos, or Gartner employ economists to analyze market trends and consumer behavior.

  • Financial institutions: Banks, investment firms, and insurance companies often need economists for research on financial markets, economic trends, and risk analysis.

  • Tech companies: Many large tech companies like Google, Amazon, or Microsoft hire economists to help understand market dynamics, pricing strategies, and to conduct other economic analyses.

Nonprofits and NGOs

Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations often hire economists for research on a range of issues:

  • Think tanks: Organizations like Brookings Institution, RAND Corporation, or Cato Institute hire economists for research on a wide range of policy issues.

  • Development NGOs: Organizations like Oxfam, Save the Children, or Mercy Corps often need economists to analyze and develop strategies for economic development in the areas they serve.

  • Foundations: Many large foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, or Rockefeller Foundation hire economists to aid their strategic planning and impact evaluation.

Intergovernmental Organizations

Besides the ones you listed, there are also other intergovernmental organizations that hire economists:

  • European Central Bank (ECB): Besides national central banks, the ECB also hires economists for various types of research.

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB) and African Development Bank (AfDB): These regional development banks often need economists to analyze economic trends in their respective regions.

  • World Trade Organization (WTO): The WTO often hires economists to analyze global trade patterns and policies.


Many policy-making arms of most national governments hire people to do economic research. In the United States, for example, this would include the Department of Education, the Treasury, the Council of Economic Advisers, and so on.

If your definition of "non-private" includes nonprofit organizations, then you can expand that much further to include many advocacy organizations, as well as grant-seeking research organizations like the American Institutes for Research or the Santa Fe Institute.

The list of organizations in both groups is very long. In the former you could count many governmental agencies in every government around the world. In many cases these are quite large and employ a lot of people to do research. In the latter there are also hundreds of places. Here is one list of over 150 of them.


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