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General Economics Intern

*To be considered for an internship, you must apply directly through our online application here.* 

As a Cato general economics intern, you will help conduct primary research on U.S. and global economic issues, provide initial drafts of speeches and articles, and create data visualizations to convey important policy arguments. Working closely with Cato scholars, you will learn about state and federal economic policy and politics from one of the preeminent free market economics groups in Washington.


  • Stay on top of economic policy developments and write summaries and opinions of those developments
  • Gather information from executive agency and legislative committee hearings, as well as conferences and other events hosted by think tanks, business associations, and other interest groups
  • Collect and analyze data from official sources, such as the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Census Bureau, Federal Reserve, Bureau of Labor Statistics, etc. to buttress arguments for free markets
  • Support the work of Cato scholars by conducting background research, compiling data, and generating tables, charts, outlines, and summaries of articles and papers


  • Strong interest in supporting efforts to educate the public and policymakers about the benefits of free markets
  • General familiarity with U.S. economic policy, state and federal institutions, and the major economic policy issues of the day

The foundations of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, and open markets. As Adam Smith, F. A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman stressed, freedom of exchange and minimally regulated markets supply the fuel for economic progress. Without exchange and entrepreneurial activity that is coordinated through markets rather than by governments, modern living standards would be impossible. Cato scholars explore policy reforms that could increase growth by strengthening property rights and the rule of law, safeguarding the value of money, reducing excessive taxes and regulations, scaling back government interference with trade and immigration, and reducing federal spending on programs that harm economic productivity. 

About the Cato Internship Program

Cato’s paid internships are for undergraduates, recent graduates, graduate students, law students, and early-career professionals who have a strong commitment to individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace—principles that, taken together, constitute libertarianism, known alternately as “classical liberalism,” “market liberalism,” or, to many of our international friends, just “liberalism.” 

All Cato interns attend the same intensive seminar series, which covers a broad range of history, philosophy, policy, and professional development topics. Interns also aid with events and occasionally help Cato staff with other day-to-day needs. 

Interns receive competitive compensation. Part-time positions are adjusted accordingly and carry a minimum of 25 hrs./wk. Program participants must be available in person in Washington, D.C.  

For more information about the internship program and experience, we encourage you to explore our website.  

If you have any questions, feel free to email Cortez Bartolome, Programs Coordinator, at