Edward J. Carroll, 73, a consultant on economic policy to the International Economic Policy Association here since 1971, died Tuesday while en route by train from Philadelphia to Washington. He suffered from arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

While maintaining a home in Bryn Mawr, Pa., Mr. Carroll commuted to his work in Washington, spending most of each week here and returning home for the weekends.

Since 1974 he had been national treasurer of Americans for Constitutional Action, which is based in Washington.

Mr. Carroll had directed economic research for Erck and Co. from 1953 until retiring in 1971, working mainly in Philadelphia. Much of his time also was spent at the company's Washington offices. He had been with Sharp and Dohme Inc. until it merged with Merck in 1953. In 1930, he had served as an assistant professor of economics at American University in Washington, and had been on the faculty of Northwestern University in Illinois.

He was born in East Aurora, N.Y. He was a graduate of the University of Buffalo and held a master's degree from Northwestern University.

He is survived by his wife, the former Ruth Hannon, of the home in Bryn Mawr; two daughters, Elizabeth Cryer, of Greenwich, Conn., and Cathryn Winters, of Malvern, Pa., and two grandchildren.