Benjamin Polak, PhD

Provost and William C. Brainard Professor of Economics; Yale University Provost; William C. Brainard Professor of Economics; School of Management


Ben Polak is the William C. Brainard Professor of Economics, and was appointed as provost of Yale University in January 2013. He joined the Yale faculty in 1994. He has a B.A. from Cambridge University, an M.A. in history from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. Prior to joining Yale, he was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and a visiting professor in the initial year of the New Economics School in Moscow. He holds a joint appointment in Yale’s Department of Economics and at the Yale School of Management, teaching mostly decision theory and game theory. He has also taught in Yale Law School in a courtesy appointment. He was chair of the Department of Economics from 2010 until he assumed his current role.

Education & Training

PhD Harvard University (1992)
MA Northwestern University (1986)
BA Trinity College (1984)

Honors & Recognition

  • Graduate Teaching Prize, Economics Department (2015)

  • William Clyde DeVane Medal for undergraduate teaching and scholarship (2015)

  • Graduate Advising Prize (2015)

  • The Lex Hixon '63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences (2006)

Professional Service

  • Henry Kohn Associate Professor Chair (1999 - 2001)

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