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Professor Benjamin Polak

Benjamin Polak

William C. Brainard Professor of Economics & Professor of Management

Professor Polak is an expert on decision theory, game theory, and economic history. His work explores economic agents whose goals are richer than those captured in traditional models. His work on game theory ranges from foundational theoretical work on common knowledge, to applied topics in corporate finance and law and economics. Most recently, he has made contributions to the theory of repeated games with asymmetric information. Other research interests include economic inequality and individuals' responses to uncertainty. Professor Polak is currently engaged in an ambitious empirical project that tackles questions of industrial organization in the setting of industrial revolution in England.


  • PhD, Harvard University, 1992
  • MA, Northwestern University, 1985
  • BA, Cambridge University, 1984



  • The Lex Hixon '63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences, Yale College, 2006
  • Graduate Teaching Prize, Economics Department, Yale, 2005
  • William Clyde DeVane Medal for undergraduate teaching and scholarship, Yale College, 2005
  • Graduate Advising Prize, Economics Department, Yale, 2004
  • Henry Kohn Associate Professor Chair, 1999-2001
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, 1998
  • Junior Fellow, Harvard University Society of Fellows, 1991-1994
  • Harvard GSAS Merit Fellow, 1990-1991
  • Harvard Economics "Goldsmith" essay prize, 1990
  • Cambridge University Wrenbury Prize for Economics, 1984
  • Trinity College Van Heyden de Lancey Prize, 1984