Cowles 2017 Summer Conference Series Recap

The Cowles Foundation wrapped up its 2017 summer conference series which featured five areas of economic research. A record number of participants partook in the five-day event coming from as far away as Asia, Europe, and South America. 

The annual conference is typically held the second week of June and highlights the economic programs associated with the Cowles Foundation which include Economic Theory, Econometrics, International Trade, Macroeconomics, and Structural Microeconomics.

Each program conference spanned two days except for International Trade which held its inaugural conference, and lasted one day. With an average of six sessions per day, each conference drew 50-80 participants totaling more than 275 attendees over the week.

“Each of the conferences has the feeling of a two-day discussion among the leading economists in the area.  It’s an intense but immensely rewarding experience,” said Cowles Foundation Director, Larry Samuelson.

Seen as one of the foremost conferences in the field of economics, the event is by invitation only. Samuelson noted that it is a fine line striking a balance between including as many people as possible, with the need to keep the setting relatively intimate.

“The participants routinely indicate that he Cowles conferences are among the best and most productive conferences they have attended,” said Samuelson.  ”That said, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience.  Each year the Cowles staff becomes more effective in staging the conferences and ensuring that the conferences run sufficiently smoothly that participants can focus on the research.”

New to the conference series this year was its venue which was held at the Yale School of Management’s Evans Hall. For the past nine years, the conferences were held at the old School of Management’s campus, Watson Center. Feedback from participants has been positive according to conference coordinator, Darlene Smith. “The modern building with its open space made it more conducive for participants to have intimate conversations between sessions,” said Smith. “The building staff were also easy to work with and provided great service.”

Samuelson agreed saying, “The new SOM building proved to be an ideal venue for the conference. The combination of state-of-the-art rooms for the talks with ample open space for people to congregate and talk proved to be quite effective.  The formal talks at a conference set the stage, with much of the work being done in the informal discussions that surround these talks.”

Tentative dates for next year’s summer conferences are scheduled for June 4-8, 2018.

For a complete schedule listing of times, talks, and presenters from this year’s conferences, visit the Cowles Conference and Workshop page.