He received a Master of Arts in Economics from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium in June 1991. He later studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a Master of Science in Economics in May 1999, and a PhD in Economics in October 2001.
In his doctoral dissertation, titled "Three Essays on Contemporary Latin American Development", Correa argued that the structural reforms instituted in Latin America beginning in the 1980s, failed as drivers for growth in the region.
He holds strong socialist beliefs:
Socialism will continue. The Ecuadorian people voted for that. We are going to emphasize this fight for social justice, for regional justice. We are going to continue the fight to eliminate all forms of workplace exploitation within our socialist conviction: the supremacy of human work over capital. Nobody is in any doubt that our preferential option is for the poorest people, we are here because of them. Hasta la victoria siempre! (Until victory, for ever)