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Following the Princeton tradition of incorporating financial frictions in macroeconomic models—scholars like Ben Bernanke come to mind—this annual program on Princeton’s campus brings together 2nd-year Ph.D. students from around the world who plan to write a Ph.D. thesis at the intersection of macroeconomics and finance. 

Organized by Princeton BCF Director Markus Brunnermeier and Stanford Professor Yuliy Sannikov, the Initiative aims to bridge the gap between modern finance and macroeconomics.

Through several days of lectures and activities, promising young researchers are exposed to macroeconomic models with financial frictions and/or non-standard expectations, all while having the opportunity to network and learn from one another.


Videos from the 2020 Princeton Initiative

The 2020 Princeton Initiative—the 10th annual gathering—took place virtually from September 1-6, 2020. Watch videos and see lecture materials by visiting the 2020 Princeton Initiative program. You can find additional lecture videos from Yuliy Sannikov here.

How to Participate

Students must be nominated to attend by either their department or a faculty member. Nominations can be sent to Jessica H.B. Roethel at

To participate, students must have successfully completed the 2nd-year sequence of their Ph.D. program. Ideally, they should have some prior exposure to continuous time finance. The final selection of participants will be made by the organizers of the event, Markus Brunnermeier and Yuliy Sannikov.

Student Feedback

Here are a few things students have said about their participation in the Princeton Initiative:

Best advanced theoretical PhD course I’ve ever taken!”

“It was the most stimulating single-event in economics I’ve had yet in my career, both due to the great lectures and the incredible conversations I had with my peers.”

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you for organizing this initiative. I really think these models are very elegant and tractable, and I have hugely appreciated both the material from you guys and the incredibly interesting speakers throughout.”