Will Pyle
Office
Warner 312
Tel
(802) 443-3240
Email
wpyle@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Tuesdays and Fridays 3:00 - 5:00 pm, and by appointment

In addition to being a professor in the economics department, I am an affiliate of the programs in International Politics and Economics and Russian and East European Studies.

I am also Associate Fellow of the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development at the HSE University in Moscow. And I have recently held visiting research positions at CESifo in Munich and the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT). 

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.

Courses Taught

Course Description

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 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2021

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2022

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Course Description

Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: Economic Journalism*
Drawing on core courses in the major, students will strengthen their understanding of economic analysis and develop their writing skills by addressing contemporary economic issues in a journalistic format. In a series of weekly assignments, including book reviews, op-eds, and coverage of recent research articles, students will translate the language of formal economics into pieces that are both interesting and accessible to educated non-economists. Most class sessions will be organized as workshops devoted to critiquing the economic and expository content of student work. (ECON 211 and ECON 250 and ECON 255) 3 hr. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

CW, SOC

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Course Description

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)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019

Requirements

CMP

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Research Workshop I
In this first semester, students will design and begin their projects. Emphasis will be on designing a novel research question (while making the case for its importance) and an appropriate strategy for answering it. This requires immersion in the academic literature on the topic. General research principles and tools will be taught in class, as a group, while those specific to individual projects will be covered in one-on-one meetings. By the end of the term, students will outline their plan for completing the project, including demonstrating that it is a feasible research question for which the necessary information (e.g., data or source materials) is available or can be generated by the student (e.g., lab or other experiment). (Approval required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

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Course Description

Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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