Professor James Levinsohn
Director of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Charles W. Goodyear Professor in Global Affairs & Professor of Economics and Management
The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs exists to draw people together from across the university to confront the key issues facing the globe today.
This year I’ll be teaching the microeconomics course for all first-year students. It won’t be a typical econ course. It’s designed to integrate with the rest of the core curriculum, so the course must do more than just give students a toolbox. It’s about developing a way of thinking and approaching problems, to prepare them for the wide array of issues they will confront during their two years here and beyond.
I also bring some of my own experiences into the classroom. I have consulted for numerous corporations over the years. But I also own a business. It’s called Mighty Good Coffee and it’s a café/roaster in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I don’t run it on a day-to-day basis, but I do try out some ideas from economics on it. One of the first lessons I’ll teach is the concept of elasticity. How does demand change with price? At my business, I consciously move the price around to test this.
I am also the director of the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. This is a new entity at Yale, and it essentially exists to draw people together from across the university to confront the key issues facing the globe today. It’s cross-school and cross-disciplinary, and we’ve already had many Yale SOM students take advantage of our offerings. These include classes in leadership, taught by General Stanley McChrystal; on the rise of China, by Stephen Roach, the former head of Morgan Stanley Asia; and on India, by Rakesh Mohan, the former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India. The opportunity for business students to further broaden their education in key ways is unprecedented. No other school can do what Yale can do.
Interviewed spring 2011.