Skip to content

Following Your Passion into Economics


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Jane Ihrig

Math was Jane Ihrig’s initial passion, so much so that she always envisioned getting a Ph.D. in math and becoming a professor.

When she began her studies at Carnegie Mellon University, her math major required a humanities course each semester, so she took a shot at microeconomics. Then came macroeconomics. Then came more and more econ classes to fill the humanities requirement.

“By my junior year, I realized I was enjoying the applied math in those classes just as much as my math major,” Ihrig said.

Ihrig went on to major in both math and economics before pursuing her Ph.D. in econ, rather than math. These were among the first steps toward an economics career that saw her ultimately wind up working for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

In this Women in Economics podcast, Ihrig discusses her journey to the Fed. She talks about the importance of being mentored and of mentoring others.

She also notes how her daughter followed in her footsteps as a math major, but not as an economics major. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Her daughter took AP economics, and that was more than enough econ for her.

“But she is a math major and I think that will provide her with lots of opportunities going forward,” Ihrig said. “And I encourage everyone to follow what they’re passionate about.”

Additional Resources

Posted In Federal Reserve  |  Tagged jane ihrigeconomicswomen in economics
Commenting Policy: We encourage comments and discussions on our posts, even those that disagree with conclusions, if they are done in a respectful and courteous manner. All comments posted to our blog go through a moderator, so they won't appear immediately after being submitted. We reserve the right to remove or not publish inappropriate comments. This includes, but is not limited to, comments that are:
  • Vulgar, obscene, profane or otherwise disrespectful or discourteous
  • For commercial use, including spam
  • Threatening, harassing or constituting personal attacks
  • Violating copyright or otherwise infringing on third-party rights
  • Off-topic or significantly political
The St. Louis Fed will only respond to comments if we are clarifying a point. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters, so please edit your thinking before posting. While you will retain all of your ownership rights in any comment you submit, posting comments means you grant the St. Louis Fed the royalty-free right, in perpetuity, to use, reproduce, distribute, alter and/or display them, and the St. Louis Fed will be free to use any ideas, concepts, artwork, inventions, developments, suggestions or techniques embodied in your comments for any purpose whatsoever, with or without attribution, and without compensation to you. You will also waive all moral rights you may have in any comment you submit.
comments powered by Disqus

The St. Louis Fed uses Disqus software for the comment functionality on this blog. You can read the Disqus privacy policy. Disqus uses cookies and third party cookies. To learn more about these cookies and how to disable them, please see this article.