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Katja Seim Named Inaugural Sharon Oster Professor of Economics and Management

Katja Seim

Katja Seim, an expert on industrial organization and applied microeconomics who joined the Yale SOM faculty in 2019, is the inaugural Sharon Oster Professor of Economics and Management, the school announced.

Seim is the first holder of the endowed chair, named for Oster after her retirement in 2018 and supported by a generous gift from a group of Yale College and Yale SOM alumni, faculty colleagues, and members of Yale SOM advisory boards. Oster, a guiding force at the school as a longtime faculty member and its first woman dean, died earlier this year.

“Through her outstanding body of scholarship on a range of important regulatory issues, Professor Seim brings great distinction to Yale SOM and to Yale University more broadly,” said Dean Kerwin K. Charles. “She is in every regard an outstanding inaugural holder of the Sharon Oster chair.”

Seim studies how firms respond to public policies, including entry and technology deployment regulations, competition policy, and tax policy, in their entry, product positioning, and pricing choices. A former chief economist for the Federal Communications Commission, her research has examined the design and outcome of government auctions and the economic effects of a variety of government regulations, including liquor pricing rules in Pennsylvania, tax exemptions for nonprofit fitness centers, and price controls for driving schools in Portugal. 

It is a privilege to hold the Sharon Oster Professorship, Seim said: “Sharon made lasting contributions to SOM, too numerous to capture here—in her scholarship on and support of non-profit management, her leadership at SOM, her excellence in teaching, and especially her energy to nurture community and just step up whenever the need arose. She was, and continues to be, a true role model for me, and I am very honored.”

Read a Yale Insights article about Katja Seim’s research on liquor taxes.