Inaugural Merton J. Peck Prize

Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Merton J. Peck portrait

Thirteen Economics faculty have been selected to receive the Merton J. Peck Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching. As the award’s inaugural year, the prize covers both sustained excellence in teaching over the past decade, as well as more recent teaching efforts. The distinguished faculty members are: Marnix Amand, Steven Berry, Michael Boozer, Evangelia Chalioti, Mira Frick, William Hawkins, John Eric Humphries, Tolga Koker, Michael Peters, Larry Samuelson, David Swensen, Dean Takahashi, and Aleh Tsyvinski.

The award honors Joe Peck who was the Thomas DeWitt Cuyler Professor of Economics. A distinguished scholar of industrial organization and a most able administrator, Peck was a devoted teacher and mentor of Yale undergraduate and graduate students.

In a letter to the prize recipients from Department Chair, Dirk Bergemann, he wrote, “In light of Joe Peck’s many contributions to the study of economics at Yale, especially to undergraduate education, it is most appropriate that this prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching be named for him.”

Peck played a major role in strengthening the undergraduate economics program who held undergraduate teaching in a preeminent position. Serving as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for many years, as well as the longest‐serving Chair of the Department, Peck was described as an excellent and popular undergraduate teacher. His Corporate Strategy undergraduate seminar was so oversubscribed that he had to teach it twice in the same term. Peck also taught the core graduate course in Industrial Organization for many years, training and mentoring students who followed in his scholarly path.

Joe Peck’s scholarship contributed greatly to the understanding of economics in a wide range of important industries ‐‐ including transportation and aluminum – the economics of technological change, and governmental defense‐procurement policy. 

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