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It was 'love at first sight,' Yellen says of first college econ class

Lauren Thomas
It was 'love at first sight,' Yellen says of first college econ class

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that like most teenagers, when she was in high school she did not expect to become an economist.

Brooklyn-born Yellen told an audience at the Executives' Club of Chicago on Friday that she was interested in math and science when she was younger. She graduated high school thinking she was going to major in math, which she enjoyed, at Brown University.

But after taking a basic macro- and micro-economics class freshman year, Yellen said it was "love at first sight."

"I really liked the form of reasoning," Yellen explained. "[Economics] has a way of analyzing issues that is systematic and it appealed to the math side of me."

More than anything, though, Yellen said she enjoyed how economics relates to people — human welfare, lives and how to make them better, she said.

"It came together that my concern about people and jobs, and my love of math, found a happy marriage in economics," Yellen said.