William Pyle

Frederick C. Dirks Professor of International Economics

 Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM and by appointment
 Robert A. Jones '59 House 202


I am a professor in Economics and an affiliate of Middlebury’s programs in International Politics and Economics and Russian and East European Studies.

My research focuses on the evolution of markets and market-supporting institutions in post-socialist countries, most particularly Russia. Currently, I am involved in projects relating to land rights, business associations, and deposit markets. In recent years, my research has received support from the National Council on Eurasian and East European Research and the International Research and Exchanges Board and I have held visiting researcher positions at the Bank of Finland’s Institute for Economies in Transition and the Higher School of Economics’ (Moscow) Institute for Industrial and Market Studies.

I teach courses in microeconomics, institutional economics and the economics of the post-socialist transition.

I have a B.A. in History from Harvard College (magna cum laude), an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from Duke University in Economics.

I live in the town of Middlebury, just a short walk from the College, with my wife, Silvia, and two sons, Matias and Lucas.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ECON0155 - Intro Microeconomics      

Introductory Microeconomics
An introduction to the analysis of such microeconomic problems as price formation (the forces behind demand and supply), market structures from competitive to oligopolistic, distribution of income, and public policy options bearing on these problems. 3 hrs. lect. SOC

Spring 2013, Fall 2015

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ECON0230 - Transformation in Eurasia      

Comparative Transformation in Eurasia
In this course we will explore the transformation over the past generation of Eurasia’s formerly socialist economies. We will focus on the experiences of Russia and other former Soviet republics, as well as the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that have joined the European Union. Though the main focus is on economic aspects of the transformation, we will also pay attention to the political and historical forces that have influenced the process. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155; or by approval) 3 hrs. lect. CMP SOC

Fall 2013, Spring 2016

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ECON0232 - The Chinese Economy      

The Chinese Economy
In this course we will explore the economic development of China up until the present day, giving particular attention to the socialist era and the post-1978 reforms. Specific topics to be covered will include growth and structural change, the urban-rural divide, the state’s ongoing role in the economy, demography, and the country’s integration into the global economy. (ECON 0150 orECON 0155; or by approval) 3 hrs. lect. AAL NOA SOC

Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017

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ECON0255 - Micro Theory      

Microeconomic Theory
Microeconomic theory concentrates on the study of the determination of relative prices and their importance in shaping the allocation of resources and the distribution of income in an economy. We will study the optimizing behavior of households in a variety of settings: buying goods and services, saving, and labor supply decisions. We will also examine the behavior of firms in different market structures. Together, the theories of household and firm behavior help illumine contemporary economic issues (discrimination in labor markets, mergers in the corporate world, positive and negative externalities, for example). (MATH 0121 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.

Spring 2014, Spring 2017

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ECON0430 - Post-Communist Econ Transition      

The Post-Communist Economic Transition
This seminar will use the “natural experiment” of the post-communist transition to better understand the origin and consequences of various economic and political institutions. Drawing on research related to China and Russia as well as other formerly communist economies in Europe and Asia, we will explore such themes as property rights reform, the finance-growth nexus, contract enforcement institutions, and the economic consequences of corruption and different political regimes. (ECON 0210 or MATH 0310 or MATH 0311 and ECON 0240 or ECON 0250, or by approval) CMP

Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

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ECON0500 - Individual Special Project      

Individual Special Project
If you choose to pursue an area that we do not offer or go in depth in an area already covered, we recommend the Individual Special Project option. These ECON 0500 proposals MUST be passed by the entire department and are to be submitted to the chair by the first Friday of fall and spring semester, respectively. The proposals should contain a specific description of the course contents, its goals, and the mechanisms by which goals are to be realized. It should also include a bibliography. According to the College Handbook, ECON 0500 projects are a privilege open to those students with advanced preparation and superior records in their fields. A student needs to have a 3.5 or higher G.P.A. in Economics courses taken at Middlebury in order to pursue an Individual Special Project. ECON 0500 does not count towards the major or minor requirements.

Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Winter 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

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IGST0447 / PSCI0337 / ECON0337 - Democ/Develop/Globalization      

Democracy, Development, and Globalization
In this course we will address crucial issues that both economists and political scientists have considered fundamental to their disciplines: how nations become democratic, develop economically, and confront globalization and regionalism. We will focus on theories that come from various disciplines to explain these phenomena. Following several weeks of theoretical discussion, we will focus on case studies from Latin America, Europe, Russia, Eastern Europe, and China. Our approach will focus on integrating various disciplines to understand these inherently interdisciplinary issues. Students will be expected to write research papers that will utilize foreign language sources, as appropriate. This course is equivalent to ECON 0337 and PSCI 0337. AAL CMP SOC

Fall 2013

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IGST0704 - EAS Senior Thesis      

East Asian Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Spring 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Spring 2015

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IPEC0500 - Independent Project      

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

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IPEC0700 - Intl.Pol.&Economics SR. Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018

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Program in International and Global Studies

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753