Skip to main content
April 10, 2024 | News

Yale Economist Philipp Strack Wins 2024 Clark Medal

Recognized as a leading American economist under 40, Strack’s work solves long-standing open questions in economic theory.

Strack Clark Medal

Yale Economist Philipp Strack has won the John Bates Clark Medal, widely considered the most prestigious award bestowed on young American economists.

Awarded by the American Economic Association (AEA), the medal honors an American economist under the age of 40 whose scholarship has made a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.

“It’s an incredible honor, and it’s hard to believe,” said Strack, professor of economics in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “I’m just very happy and grateful.”

Strack’s work has “challenged conventional wisdom and significantly pushed the boundaries of theories of decision-making and behavioral economics outward,” the AEA stated in its award announcement. Through his research on the formalization of information cost functions and privacy, as well as new analytical approaches to mechanism design, the AEA praised Strack’s research as representing a new wave of the economics of information.

“Economic theory is a useful tool for so many important questions,” said Strack, who studies economic theory and behavioral economics. “Through precise formalization, we can get much clearer on issues like discrimination, privacy, or climate change. For example, how can we measure whether firms are discriminating against employees? What do we mean by privacy? How do we ensure parties will adhere to climate change agreements? Theory gives us the tools to structure our thinking around these questions, and I’m really excited by the progress we’re making and where the field is headed as a whole.”

Strack is the third Yale economist to be awarded the Clark Medal, and the first since 1969, following Marc Nerlove (1969) and James Tobin (1955).

In its announcement, the AEA called Strack “a deeply creative and prolific microeconomic theorist whose research has enriched our understanding of economics on several fronts.”

“Philipp Strack's mix of creativity, technical skills, and incredible productivity has enabled him to solve long-standing open questions in economic theory while building bridges to a wide range of adjacent disciplines, such as psychology, neuroscience, and computer science,” it stated.

Tony Smith, chair of the Department of Economics, echoed the AEA’s praise.

“The department is very proud to celebrate Philipp’s Clark Medal, in recognition of his creative contributions across a wide spectrum of cutting-edge topics within microeconomic theory,” he said. “Philipp is not only brilliant, but also a wonderful and generous colleague.”

Professor Strack, who joined Yale’s faculty in 2019, was the recipient of the 2023 Bodossaki Distinguished Young Scientist Award for his contributions to the social sciences in economics. He has authored more than 50 publications and working papers, spanning a number of topics in economic theory and behavioral economics. Recent research includes work on the optimal taxation of goods with negative externalities (such as CO2 emissions), how people mispredict their behaviors, and how private information and signals can affect algorithmic fairness, price discrimination, and information design.

View Professor Strack’s full research portfolio here.

In the short time since the announcement, many in the economics community have shared tributes on X:

One of the most prestigious and eagerly anticipated AEA awards, the John Bates Clark Medal is awarded annually each April (formerly biennially from 1947–2009) to that American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. If there is a significant body of joint work, the Clark Medal may be awarded jointly to two recipients. Established as an American prize, it is sufficient that the candidate works in the United States at the time of the award and US citizenship is not required. Read the full AEA announcement.