The Price Theory Summer Camp (PTSC) is an intensive one-week program held annually at the University of Chicago aimed at introducing PhD students from outside universities to price theory, which emphasizes the application of basic economic tools to problems.
38 PhD students from 25 institutions participated in this year’s program, which ran from June 25-29, 2023. They heard lectures from UChicago and visiting faculty and experienced a series of “Chicago-style” seminars where faculty presented their research in progress.
A cornerstone of BFI’s Price Theory Initiative, PTSC was created by Professors Kevin Murphy, the George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business, and Steve Levitt, the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics. This year’s program was led by Professor Kevin Murphy, along with Casey Mulligan and Robert Topel.
Now in its thirteenth year, PTSC boasts 378 alumni, approximately 300 of whom have completed their PhDs and entered the workforce. 82% of alumni pursued careers in academia, while others work in the government or private sector. The 2023 joins a robust network of working economists steeped in price theory.
Since its formation, the PTSC has been generously supported by MarrGwen and Stuart Townsend.
Kevin Murphy, George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Kevin M. Murphy is the George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business as well as co-director of the Becker Friedman Institute’s Price Theory Initiative. He primarily studies the empirical analysis of inequality, unemployment, and relative wages as well as the economics of growth and development and the economic value of improvements in health and longevity. In addition to his position at the University of Chicago, Murphy works as a faculty research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. A fellow of the Econometric Society and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Murphy was a John Bates Clark Medalist in 1997. He has received fellowships from the Earhart Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the Friedman Fund. Murphy is the first professor at a business school to be chosen as a MacArthur Fellow. He was selected for “revealing economic forces shaping vital social phenomena such as wage inequality, unemployment, addiction, medical research, and economic growth.” The foundation felt his work “challenges preconceived notions and attacks seemingly intractable economic questions, placing them on a sound empirical and theoretical footing.” In 2007, Murphy and fellow Chicago Booth faculty member Robert Topel won the Kenneth J. Arrow Award for the best research paper in health economics for “The Value of Health and Longevity,” published in the Journal of Political Economy. The award is given annually by the International Health Economics Association. Murphy is also the author of two books and many academic articles. His writing also has been published in numerous mainstream publications including the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and two Wall Street Journal articles coauthored by Nobel laureate Gary Becker. He earned his PhD in 1986 from the University of Chicago after graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1981. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1984.
Casey B. Mulligan, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago
Casey B. Mulligan is a professor at the University of Chicago. He has also served as Chief Economist of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as a visiting professor teaching public economics at Harvard University, Clemson University, and the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. He is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, and the Population Research Center. His research covers a variety of economic fields, including capital and labor taxation, the gender wage gap, health economics, Social Security, voting and the economics of aging. Throughout his career, Mulligan has written extensively about the discrepancies between economic analysis and conventional wisdom.
He has received awards and fellowships from the Manhattan Institute, the National Science Foundation, Wolfram Research, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation. Mulligan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and earned a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1993.
Robert H. Topel, Isidore Brown and Gladys J. Brown Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Robert H. Topel conducts research on many areas of economics including labor economics, industrial organization and antitrust, business strategy, health economics, energy economics, national security economics, economic growth, and public policy. He is the Co-Director of the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago. Topel has been at the University of Chicago since 1979, with the exception of an appointment as a Professor of Economics at UCLA in 1986. In 2006, he was the Kirby Distinguished Visiting Professor of Economics at Texas A&M University. He is also a founding partner of Chicago Partners, LLC. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1974 and a PhD in economics from UCLA in 1980.
You can see more information on the 2023 Price Theory Cohort here.
2022 Price Theory Summer Camp
Click here for more information on last year’s Price Theory Summer Camp.
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