Economics rebuilds with five new profs



After a series of departures and retirements in the last decade, the economics department is rebuilding with three new senior professors and two junior hires this year.

The new professors, most of whom started this fall, fill under-represented areas in macroeconomics and applied microeconomics, ranging from public economics to industrial organization, Economics chairman David Pearce said in an e-mail.

In industrial organization, senior professor Philip Haile and junior professor Justine Hastings fill gaps left by Ariel Pakes, who left Yale for Harvard in 1999, and Martin Pesendorfer, who went to the London School of Economics last year, Pearce said. Another appointment, Stephen Coate, who joins Yale from Cornell, will be the first senior faculty member in public economics in 20 years, Pearce said.

Coate, who will arrive in January, said his work examines the effects of specific public policies and why they were chosen. He said his interests are in areas such as campaign finance reform, clean money campaigns, voter turn-out and education expenditures.

“One of the things that I find most exciting about Yale is that it is very strong in political science and in U.S. government in particular, and I think I will be able to interact with them very well,” Coate said.

Pearce said Coate would offer courses in political economy, a field in which he is a leading figure.

Senior professor Anthony Smith, who joins Yale from Carnegie Mellon’s business school, said his research in macroeconomics has focused on introducing variation into general equilibrium models, so that the models do not assume that everyone is the same.

Smith said he has also developed computational tools to work with information from models. He will teach a graduate course in computational economics in the spring.

Haile, who spent six years at the University of Wisconsin and one year at the University of Chicago, said his interest in industrial organization is in auctions, particularly U.S. Forest Service auctions, where he looks at how the theories involved coincide with statistical data.

Haile said Yale is an exciting place to do research because it has a set of young economists at the peak of their research. He will teach an undergraduate course on industrial organization in the spring.

Assistant professor Rohini Pande, who joins Yale from Columbia University, said her work on South Asian development economics intersects with the Yale Center for International and Area Studies.

Pande said both the caliber of students and strength in her area of research were reasons that attracted her to Yale.

“It has had a strong history of development economics,” Pande said.

Rounding out the department’s hires, assistant professor Justine Hastings is teaching introductory microeconomics this semester with professor Steven Berry. Her research in industrial organization includes analysis of the vertical relationships in retail gasoline markets.

Comments