The Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics hosted the 16th annual series of Summer Conferences in 2023, welcoming 350+ participants to Yale’s campus.
The Cowles summer conferences advance the Cowles Foundation’s goal of developing and applying rigorous logical, mathematical, and statistical methods of analysis in economics. This year’s conference featured over 65 presentations, with many accompanying discussions to help shape the research and give rise to new work. The week included six individual 1-2 day conferences, each with its own theme and roster of top academics in the field. Below we highlight photos and brief summaries from each of the conferences.
The 2023 Economic Theory Conference brought together nearly 70 participants for 12 presentations on a broad range of topics in microeconomic theory. Researchers represented all the major ﬁelds of microeconomic theory, including decision theory, general equilibrium, game theory, contract theory, mechanism design, information design, learning, matching, and misspecified models. Organized by Anna Sanktjohanser (Toulouse School of Economics), this year’s program ranged from methodological foundations to the design of real-life institutions. Presentations featured cutting edge work on information structures, how preferences and information affect social learning, new models for non-market allocation of resources, efficient trade and ownership on networks, and much more.
Organized by Costas Meghir and Chris Neilson, the 2023 Labor & Public Economics Conference brought together over 80 participants for 16 presentations. The organizers invited experts on a broad range of research, including the effects of taxes and welfare programs, wage and employment determination, education economics, and the analysis of racial and gender discrimination. This year’s presentations featured frontier research on topics such as precision medicine, racial discrimination in child protection, wage growth and education, labor market returns to personality, structural analysis of xenophobia, how disability benefits in early life affect adult outcomes, and early childhood education.
The 2023 Econometrics Conference brought together nearly 70 participants for 15 presentations covering all the major ﬁelds of econometrics. Organized by Ed Vytlacil and Ashesh Rambachan (Microsoft Research/MIT), this year’s conference featured much work that closely linked with applied fields, including labor, health, macroeconomics, development, structural microeconomics, and ﬁnance. Covering a number of sub-disciplines including time series econometrics, ﬁnancial econometrics, and spatial econometrics, this year’s presentations included work on building nondiscriminatory algorithms, using machine learning to increase equity in healthcare and public health, the fairness of machine-assisted human decisions, machine learning as a tool for hypothesis generation, and more.
Organized by Rebecca Diamond (Stanford GSB), Phil Haile, and Kevin Williams, this year’s conference brought together over 75 participants for 10 presentations. Researchers represented all different fields in industrial organization, and covered a broad range of substantive questions concerning the functioning of imperfectly competitive markets, the exercise of market power, and competition policy. Presentations this year included “Optimal Urban Transportation Policy: Evidence from Chicago,” “Liquid Markets: An Empirical Analysis of a Water Exchange,” “Auto Dealer Loan Intermediation: Consumer Behavior and Competitive Effects,” “Port Technology and Investment in Infrastructure," “Equilibrium Effects of Public Provision in Education Markets,” and more.
The 2023 Macroeconomics Conference brought together over 35 participants for 8 presentations, featuring researchers leading the ﬁeld in both theory and empirical research. Organized by Eduardo Davila and Ivan Werning (MIT), the conference focused on integrating advanced macroeconomic theory with a wide range of policy-related research. This year’s presentations included recent work on the macroeconomic effects of energy price shocks in energy-importing economies, the role of conflict or disagreement on inflation, optimal monetary policy with redistribution, welfare accounting, and the role of financial frictions in driving aggregate economic growth.
Organized by Amit Khandelwal and Peter Schott, this year’s conference focused on the Microeconomic Analysis of International Trade. Featuring over 45 participants and 5 presentations, researchers came together to discuss theoretical, empirical, and quantitative trade models, as well as trade policy, political economy, and international ﬁnance. Presentations included work on retailers and import penetration using evidence from US dollar stores, algorithms to reconstruct the US tariff code between 1972 and 1988, global value chains, the loss of US jobs to foreign places and the loss of a US knowledge base connected to manufacturing, and firm adaptation in production network in Pakistan.