George Akerlof

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Person.png George Akerlof   AmazonRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(economist, academic)
George Akerlof.jpg
BornJune 17, 1940
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S
Alma materSidwell Friends School, Lawrenceville School, Yale University, MIT
SiblingsCarl W. Akerlof
SpouseJanet Yellen
Member ofBrookings Institution, Institute for New Economic Thinking
American economist married to Janet Yellen. Was given the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

George Arthur Akerlof is an American economist and a university professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and Koshland Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.[1][2] Akerlof was given the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, jointly with Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz, "for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information."[3]

Early life and education

Akerlof was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on June 17, 1940, into a Jewish family. His mother was Rosalie Clara Grubber (née Hirschfelder), a housewife of German Jewish descent, and his father was Gösta Carl Åkerlöf, a chemist and inventor, who was a Swedish immigrant.[4][5][6] George has an older brother, Carl, a physics professor at the University of Michigan.[6]

Akerlof attended Princeton Day School, before he graduated from the Lawrenceville School in 1958.[6] He received a bachelor's in economics from Yale University in 1962, and earned his PhD in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1966.[2] His dissertation was titled Wages and Capital under the supervision of Robert Solow, a noted economist who would later receive the Nobel Memorial Prize.

Academic career

After receiving his doctorate, Akerlof joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, as an assistant professor of economics, although he taught for only one year before moving to India. In 1967, he spent some time as a visiting professor at the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in New Delhi and returned to the United States in September 1968.[6] Akerlof then became an associate professor at Berkeley and voted for a tenure-track position at the university. He also was a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) from 1973 to 1974. In 1977, Akerlof spent a year as a visiting research economist for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. where he met his future wife and coauthor, Janet Yellen.[2] After that he hoped to be promoted to full professorship, however, Berkeley's department of economics failed to appoint him. Akerlof and Yellen then moved to the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1978, where he accepted a prestigious post as the Cassel Professor of Money and Banking, while she accepted a tenure-track lectureship. They remained in the United Kingdom for two years before returning to the United States.[6]

In 1980, Akerlof becomes Goldman Professor of Economics at Berkeley and taught there for most of his career.[2] In 1997, he took a leave of absence from Berkeley to accompany his wife when she was named chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). At Washington, Akerlof began working for the Brookings Institution as a senior fellow. They both returned to teaching at UC Berkeley in 1999. Akerlof remained an active faculty member at the university until his retirement. He was awarded Koshland Professor of Economics Emeritus in 2010.

After that, he once again moved to Washington when Yellen confirmed to the Federal Reserve Board.[7] Akerlof received a position as visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2010 to 2014 and joined the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University as a university professor in 2014.[1]

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