Year-end letter: Berkeley Economics


Dear Friends,

I recently returned to Berkeley from public service with a renewed sense of the purpose and importance of what we do here at Berkeley Economics. Serving for 18 months as the Chief Economist at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the Biden Administration was a tremendously exciting and invigorating experience. 

We talk a great deal at Berkeley about the real-world impact of what we learn in the classroom. At OMB, I had the opportunity to move from theory to practice in the most tangible sense and in ways that can directly impact people’s lives in wider society. For example, President Biden followed my White House analysis of low billionaire tax rates with his new proposal to set a minimum tax rate on the wealthiest, using a capital gains prepayment idea I had explored with Berkeley colleagues in earlier academic work. On our climate crisis, I co-led the analysis in the President’s Budget that quantified trillion-dollar risks from climate change to the federal budget deficit, helping to make the case for climate proposals that later became law in the Inflation Reduction Act

I was in part inspired to public service by my own Berkeley faculty colleagues Janet Yellen, current Treasury Secretary, and Christina Romer, who was Chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. My successor at OMB is Yale’s Zach Liscow, who earned his Ph.D. from Berkeley Economics in 2012. Today, with your support, we are continuing the tradition of preparing our students to translate their Berkeley Economics education into service out in the world.

Each day in the classroom, we encounter remarkably bright and hard-working students who exhibit a real compass for thinking about how their education will enable them to have a social impact. At Berkeley Economics we place an especially strong emphasis on data, which enables us to make what we teach practical and rooted in the real-life challenges of our time.

Our growing pool of undergraduates and graduates needs your support today. Please consider making a generous donation to support Berkeley Economics to help produce the policy makers and leaders of tomorrow.     

Please give to Berkeley Economics today.                                                                                                 

Your gift will support the following pressing needs:

  • Undergraduate learning experiences
  • Graduate fellowships
  • Teaching excellence through faculty hiring and retention
  • Strengthening and supporting our staff, including our student advising team

Berkeley Economics has been an integral part of my life, and I hope it has had a positive impact on yours. If you are in a position to support our students, I hope you will do so today.

Danny Yagan
Associate Professor of Economics
Development Chair, Department of Economics, UC Berkeley



P.S. Please give today. Here are some ways to give:

  • Online
  • By check: Fill out this mail-in form with your check made payable to "UC Berkeley Foundation", and mail it to: 

University of California, Berkeley Gift Services
1995 University Avenue, Suite 400
Berkeley, CA 94704-1070

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