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Yale has a long and storied tradition of excellence in macroeconomics. The current Macroeconomics group includes faculty leading the field in both theory and empirical research, as well as several faculty influencing current policy debates.

The Macroeconomics group at Yale draws upon the distinguished legacy of Tjalling Koopmans, Arthur M. Okun, and James Tobin, and more recently William Brainard, William Nordhaus, and Robert Shiller, integrating advanced macroeconomic theory with a wide range of policy-related research. Faculty research interests encompass virtually all principal areas of macroeconomics, with a special focus on macroeconomic theory and quantitative analysis.

The Cowles Research Program in Macroeconomics supports faculty and graduate students who are pushing the research frontier to provide new foundations to the field and to directly impact the public policy debate. Under the Program umbrella, a wide range of initiatives—visiting scholars, research support to faculty and graduate students, conferences, guest lectures, data acquisitions—contribute to generate a rich flow of leading research on a broad spectrum of policy-relevant topics including: unemployment and wage inequality, inflation and monetary policy, technological innovation and economic growth, the macroeconomic analysis of climate change, the role of information imperfections in propagating business cycles and destabilizing financial markets, and the distribution of economic activity in space.

Seminars and Conferences

The Department hosts two weekly macroeconomics seminars. The Macroeconomics Workshop is a forum for presentation and discussion of state-of-the-art research in macroeconomics. Presentations by research scholars and participating students feature papers on closed economy and open economy macroeconomics and monetary economics. The Department also runs a weekly Macro Lunch where Yale faculty and graduate students present work in early stages.

Every year, the Macroeconomics Program hosts a summer conference to bring together top economists in the field to present new research. Recent presentations have included topics such as the stabilization roles of fiscal and monetary policy, the sustainability of government debt, the transmission channels of monetary policy, the interaction between macroprudential and monetary policies, the international spillovers of monetary policy, and optimal exchange rate policy.

For more information about the Macroeconomics summer conferences, see the Cowles Conferences and Workshops page.

Graduate Teaching and Research

The graduate macro sequence consists of two core courses (510 and 511) and two advanced courses (525 and 526). The core courses analyze short-run determination of aggregate employment, income, investment, saving, prices, interest rates, asset prices, as well as growth, fiscal and monetary policy. To this purpose, core courses extensively train students in the methodology of modern dynamic economics: Dynamic Programming, Vector Autoregressions, Equilibrium concepts, and computational methods. The advanced courses are topical and track frontier research in macroeconomics. Prominent examples of recently covered topics are heterogeneous agent economics with adjustment costs to capital and labor, wealth inequality in incomplete market economies with financial market imperfections, optimal taxation, and search theory of unemployment.

For detailed field descriptions, please see the Department’s PhD Program Page.