Herbert Scarf Summer Research Opportunity Winners


38 undergraduate students have been awarded Herbert Scarf Summer Research Opportunities to work directly with faculty from the Department of Economics and the Yale School of Management. Beginning its thirteenth year, the summer program pairs faculty members with students, giving the students practical skills and experience in economic research.

This year, 21 faculty members offered research projects covering a wide range of economic topics from game theory, growth economics, financial networks, and non-profit organizations. Student choose from among these projects to match their interests through an application process. Faculty members then select among students who have expressed interest in their research projects.

The successful candidates (Research Assistants, or RAs) work from June 1 through August 1, and are typically rising juniors or seniors. RAs receive hands-on experience in their roles and are given such tasks as constructing datasets, applying econometric techniques, and working with economic models. The RAs are required to write a summary of their research activities at the completion of their project. This year for the first time, graduate student mentors will serve as advisors to the RAs, providing feedback, guidance and support to the undergraduate students.

The number of RAs selected this year has nearly quadrupled from previous years, with the program receiving support from the Cowles Foundation, the James Tobin Fund for Undergraduate Research Opportunities, Paul Joskow ‘72 PhD, and the Yale School of Management. Sam Kortum, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics, expressed his appreciation saying, “The Cowles Foundation’s support, in particular, let us expand this program to enable more undergraduates to work one-on-one with faculty.”