Tobin Center for Economic Policy

The Tobin Center for Economic Policy at Yale, named for the late James Tobin, iconic faculty member and Nobel laureate, will advance rigorous, evidence-based research intended to define and inform policy debate. The establishment of the Tobin Center is part of a strategic investment to build Yale’s strength in data-driven economic policy. It will also address a need in the United States for non-partisan, policy-relevant research by first-rate academic economists.

The center will convene faculty members, students, and visiting experts, provide research grants, and communicate its findings to a broad audience that includes policy makers and the public. The center will have a faculty director, executive director, and a cadre of faculty fellows drawn from departments and schools across the university. The center will disburse targeted funds to affiliated faculty, with the research goal of analyzing policy options and, based on that analysis, making policy recommendations. Students, recent graduates, and postdoctoral fellows will take part in this research. The center will disseminate research findings through workshops and seminars, white papers, conferences, academic journals, and the center’s website.

The Tobin Center will be a significant presence on campus, organizing policy lectures and other public events. Plans for the new building, expected to open in 2022, will include faculty offices and space for research fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate researchers. The goal is a state-of-the-art facility that can support a vibrant community of scholars conducting data-driven domestic policy analysis. 

As part rollout of the new Tobin Center, the Economics department is establishing a more formal pre-doctoral RA program, with some formal oversight and mentoring together with a common workspace. Traditionally, such positions often involve work with data and computation that is appropriate for recent graduates holding a BA or BS. A listing of projects can be found on the Predoctoral Research Assistant Project page