Markets & Morals

Yale University  |  June 16—June 22, 2018

Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, University of Pennsylvania  |  Peter Wicks, Elm Institute

Are there moral limits on what may be bought and sold? What is the relationship between a thing’s price and its value? Is voluntary exchange always just? A seminar addressing these and related questions with readings drawn from the works of Aristotle, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Joseph Schumpeter, as well as a range of contemporary thinkers.

This seminar is for advanced undergraduates and pre-dissertation graduate students.

Applications due March 18



A week-long seminar for approximately sixteen students, jointly led by two expert faculty. The seminar meets for three 90-minute sessions each day. Participants also share meals and the opportunity to take part in a range of extra-curricular activities.


The seminar is designed with advanced undergraduates (i.e. rising juniors and seniors) and pre-dissertation graduate students in mind, but others are welcome to apply. Students from outside of the United States are welcome to apply.

How to Apply


  1. Complete application form.
  2. Submit a sample of your academic work to

To guarantee consideration, all application materials must be received by March 18.

Registration Fee

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to offer our summer seminars to students at a small fraction of their true cost. A non-refundable registration fee of $200 covers tuition, lodging, food, and all reading materials for the seminar.

A limited number of registration fee waivers and travel stipends are available for students who would not otherwise be able to participate.


Participants will be provided with accommodation in one of Yale's undergraduate colleges. Accommodation is available from the night of Saturday June 16 through to the night of Friday June 22.

Jesús Fernández-Villaverde is Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. He has co-authored and edited several books and published over two dozen articles in peer-reviewed academic journals. He is editor of the International Economic Review. Among other topics, he is interested in the role of monetary and fiscal policy, the sources of economic growth, the importance of the rule of law, and the foundations of market economies.

(Full profile)

Peter Wicks is Director of the Program in Ethics, Finance, and Economics and Research Fellow at the Elm Institute. His main research interests are the contemporary applications of Aristotelian ethical and political thought and the intellectual foundations of utilitarianism. He is currently completing a book, The Ethics of Peter Singer: A Study of Utilitarianism in Theory and Practice.

(Full profile)