The Info List - George Akerlof

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George Arthur Akerlof (born June 17, 1940) is an American economist who is a University Professor
at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University
Georgetown University
and Koshland Professor
of Economics
Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.[2][3] He won the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with Michael Spence
Michael Spence
and Joseph E. Stiglitz).


1 Early life and education 2 Contributions to economics

2.1 "The Market for Lemons" and asymmetric information 2.2 Identity economics 2.3 Reproductive technology shock 2.4 Looting 2.5 Norms and macroeconomics

3 Personal life 4 Bibliography

4.1 Critical studies and reviews of Akerlof's work

5 References 6 External links

Early life and education[edit] Akerlof was born in New Haven, Connecticut, United States, the son of Rosalie Grubber (née Hirschfelder) and Gösta Åkerlöf, who was a chemist and inventor.[4][5] His mother was Jewish, from a family that had emigrated from Germany. His father was a Swedish immigrant.[6] Akerlof graduated from the Lawrenceville School[7] in 1958 and received the Aldo Leopold Award in 2002. In 1962 he received his BA degree from Yale University, in 1966 his PhD degree from MIT, and taught at the London School of Economics
1978–80. Contributions to economics[edit] "The Market for Lemons" and asymmetric information[edit] Akerlof is perhaps best known for his article, "The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism", published in Quarterly Journal of Economics
in 1970, in which he identified certain severe problems that afflict markets characterized by asymmetric information, the paper for which he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize.[10] In Efficiency Wage Models of the Labor Market, Akerlof and coauthor/former Fed Chair Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen
propose rationales for the efficiency wage hypothesis in which employers pay above the market-clearing wage, in contradiction to the conclusions of neoclassical economics. Identity economics[edit] In his latest work, Akerlof and collaborator Rachel Kranton of Duke University introduce social identity into formal economic analysis, creating the field of identity economics. Drawing on social psychology and many fields outside of economics, Akerlof and Kranton argue that individuals do not have preferences only over different goods and services. They also adhere to social norms for how different people should behave. The norms are linked to a person's social identities. These ideas first appeared in their article " Economics
and Identity", published in Quarterly Journal of Economics
in 2000. Reproductive technology shock[edit] In the late 1990s Akerlof's ideas attracted the attention of some on both sides of the debate over legal abortion. In articles appearing in The Quarterly Journal of Economics,[11] The Economic Journal,[12] and other forums Akerlof described a phenomenon that he labeled "reproductive technology shock." He contended that the new technologies that had helped to spawn the late twentieth century sexual revolution, modern contraceptives and legal abortion, had not only failed to suppress the incidence of out-of-wedlock childbearing but also had actually worked to increase it. According to Akerlof, for women who did not use them, these technologies had largely transformed the old paradigm of socio-sexual assumptions, expectations, and behaviors in ways that were especially disadvantageous. For example, the availability of legal abortion now allowed men to view their offspring as the deliberate product of female choice rather than as the joint product of sexual intercourse. Thus, it encouraged biological fathers to reject not only the notion of an obligation to marry the mother but also the idea of a paternal obligation. While Akerlof did not recommend legal restrictions on either abortion or the availability of contraceptives his analysis seemed to lend support to those who did. Thus, a scholar strongly associated with liberal and Democratic-leaning policy positions has been approvingly cited by conservative and Republican-leaning analysts and commentators.[13][14] Looting[edit] In 1993 Akerlof and Paul Romer
Paul Romer
brought forth "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit", describing how under certain conditions, owners of corporations will decide it is more profitable for them personally to 'loot' the company and 'extract value' from it instead of trying to make it grow and prosper. For example:

Bankruptcy for profit will occur if poor accounting, lax regulation, or low penalties for abuse give owners an incentive to pay themselves more than their firms are worth and then default on their debt obligations. Bankruptcy for profit occurs most commonly when a government guarantees a firm's debt obligations.[15]

Norms and macroeconomics[edit] In his 2007 presidential address to the American Economic Association, Akerlof proposed natural norms that decision makers have for how they should behave, and showed how such norms can explain discrepancies between theory and observed facts about the macroeconomy. Akerlof proposed a new agenda for macroeconomics, using social norms to explain macroeconomic behavior.[16] He is considered[according to whom?] together with Gary Becker
Gary Becker
as one of the founders of social economics. He is a trustee of Economists for Peace and Security and co-director of the Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being Program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
(CIFAR). He is on the advisory board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
in 1985.[17] Personal life[edit] His wife, Janet Yellen, was the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and professor emeritus at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business,[18] and was the former President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
and former Chair of President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors.[19][20] His son Robert Akerlof[21] has a PhD in economics from Harvard University and teaches at the University of Warwick.[22] Bibliography[edit] This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Akerlof, George A. (1984). An economic theorist's book of tales : essays that entertain the consequences of new assumptions in economic theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Akerlof, George A., and Janet Yellen. 1986. Efficiency Wage Models of the Labor Market. Orlando, Fla.: Academic Press. Akerlof, George A., Romer, Paul M., Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit" Vol. 1993, No. 2 (1993), pp. 1–73 [23] Akerlof, George A. 2000. " Economics
and Identity," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 115(3), pp. 715–53. Akerlof, George A. 2005. Explorations in Pragmatic Economics, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-925390-6. Akerlof, George A. 2005. "Identity and the Economics
of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(1), pp. 9–32. Akerlof, George A. "Thoughts on global warming." chinadialogue (2006). 14 July 2008. Akerlof, George A. and Robert J. Shiller. 2009. Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14233-3. Akerlof, George A., and Rachel E. Kranton. 2010. Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages, and Well-Being, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-14648-5. Description & TOC, "Introduction," pp. 3–8, and preview. George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller. 2015. Phishing for Phools: The Economics
of Manipulation and Deception, Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-16831-9.

Critical studies and reviews of Akerlof's work[edit]

Davidson, Sinclair (Jan–Feb 2016). "Phull of phallacies". Quadrant. 40 (1-2): 80–82. CS1 maint: Date format (link) Review of Phishing for phools.


^ Akerlof, George (1966). Wages and capital (PDF) (Ph.D.). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved June 28, 2017.  ^ " George Akerlof
George Akerlof
(aka Mr. Janet Yellen) Heads to Georgetown - Real Time Economics
- WSJ". blogs.wsj.com. Retrieved 2014-10-25.  ^ http://explore.georgetown.edu/people/gaa53/ ^ Swedberg, R. (1990). Economics
and Sociology: Redefining Their Boundaries : Conversations with Economists and Sociologists. Princeton University Press. p. 61. ISBN 9780691003764. Retrieved 2014-10-25.  ^ Secretary, O.H.; Sciences, N.A. (1980). Biographical Memoirs. 51. National Academies Press. p. 221. ISBN 9780309028882. Retrieved 2014-10-25.  ^ George A. Akerlof : Autobiography"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-04-04. Retrieved 2006-04-04.  , Nobelprize.org. Archived April 4, 2006, at WebCite ^ George Akerlof: Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
Autobiography Archived 2006-04-04 at WebCite. Accessed March 12, 2011. "The Princeton Country Day School ended at grade nine. At that point most of my classmates dispersed among different New England prep schools. Both for financial reasons and also because they preferred that I stay at home, my family sent me down the road to the Lawrenceville School." ^ Writing the “The Market for ‘Lemons’”: A Personal and Interpretive Essay by George A. Akerlof ^ "Citations of Akerlof: The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism". Google Scholar. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2009-07-07.  ^ Both the American Economic Review and The Review of Economic Studies rejected the paper for "triviality", while the reviewers for Journal of Political Economy rejected it as incorrect, arguing that if this paper was correct, then no goods could be traded. Only on the fourth attempt did the paper get published in Quarterly Journal of Economics.[8] Today, the paper is one of the most-cited papers in modern economic theory (more than 5800 citations in academic papers as of July 2009).[9] ^ Akerlof, George A.; Yellen, Janet & Katz, Lawrence F. (1996), "An Analysis on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing in the United States", Quarterly Journal of Economics, The MIT Press, 111 (2): 277–317, doi:10.2307/2946680, JSTOR 2946680  ^ Akerlof, George A. (1998), "Men Without Children", Economic Journal, Blackwell Publishing, 108 (447): 287–309, doi:10.1111/1468-0297.00288, JSTOR 2565562  ^ Failed Promises of Abortion, archived from the original on 2008-10-12  ^ The Facts of Life & Marriage  ^ 1993 George Akerlof
George Akerlof
and Paul Romer, "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit", Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 24, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, 1993, as quoted in Yves Smith (2010), Econned, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-230-62051-3  pp. 164–165 ^ The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 6, 2011.  ^ " Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen
Fact Sheet Berkeley-Haas". newsroom.haas.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2014-10-25.  ^ Trustees, Economists for Peace and Security Archived July 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Janet L. Yellen, White House Council of Economic Advisors. ^ "George A. Akerlof – Autobiography". nobelprize.org. Archived from the original on April 4, 2006. Retrieved 2014-12-12.  ^ "Academic Staff – University of Warwick
University of Warwick
Department of Economics". www2.warwick.ac.uk. Retrieved 2014-12-12.  ^ George A. Akerlof and Paul M. Romer (23 December 2007). "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-10-25. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: George Akerlof

George A. Akerlof at University of California, Berkeley Identity Economics Biography at Encyclopædia Britannica Behavioral Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Behavior 2001 lecture at NobelPrize.org Profile and Papers at Research Papers in Economics/RePEc Works by or about George Akerlof
George Akerlof
in libraries ( WorldCat
catalog) George A. Akerlof (1940– ). The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Library of Economics
and Liberty (2nd ed.). Liberty Fund. 2008. 


Akerlof's criticism of Bush, February 12, 2003 Akerlof slams Bush government, July 29, 2003

v t e



John Maynard Keynes


Gardner Ackley Robert Solow William Baumol James Duesenberry Robert Eisner Trygve Haavelmo Alvin Hansen Roy Harrod John Hicks Lawrence Klein James Meade Lloyd Metzler Franco Modigliani Robert Mundell Arthur Melvin Okun Don Patinkin William Phillips William Poole Paul Samuelson James Tobin


Victoria Chick Paul Davidson Evsey Domar James K. Galbraith John Kenneth Galbraith Myron J. Gordon Geoff Harcourt Michael Hudson Richard Kahn Nicholas Kaldor Michał Kalecki Steve Keen Jan Kregel Marc Lavoie Abba P. Lerner Hyman Minsky Bill Mitchell Basil Moore Steven Pressman Joan Robinson G. L. S. Shackle Pavlina R. Tcherneva Anthony Thirlwall Sidney Weintraub L. Randall Wray

New Keynesians

George Akerlof Ben Bernanke Olivier Blanchard Alan Blinder Guillermo Calvo Richard Clarida Brad DeLong Huw Dixon Stanley Fischer Jordi Galí Mark Gertler Robert J. Gordon Stephany Griffith-Jones Nobuhiro Kiyotaki Paul Krugman Greg Mankiw Marc Melitz Maurice Obstfeld Edmund Phelps Ricardo Reis Kenneth Rogoff David Romer Julio Rotemberg Nouriel Roubini Robert Shiller Andrei Shleifer Joseph Stiglitz Lawrence Summers John B. Taylor Michael Woodford

v t e

Laureates of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences


1969 Ragnar Frisch
Ragnar Frisch
/ Jan Tinbergen 1970 Paul Samuelson 1971 Simon Kuznets 1972 John Hicks / Kenneth Arrow 1973 Wassily Leontief 1974 Gunnar Myrdal
Gunnar Myrdal
/ Friedrich Hayek 1975 Leonid Kantorovich
Leonid Kantorovich
/ Tjalling Koopmans


1976 Milton Friedman 1977 Bertil Ohlin
Bertil Ohlin
/ James Meade 1978 Herbert A. Simon 1979 Theodore Schultz
Theodore Schultz
/ Arthur Lewis 1980 Lawrence Klein 1981 James Tobin 1982 George Stigler 1983 Gérard Debreu 1984 Richard Stone 1985 Franco Modigliani 1986 James M. Buchanan 1987 Robert Solow 1988 Maurice Allais 1989 Trygve Haavelmo 1990 Harry Markowitz
Harry Markowitz
/ Merton Miller
Merton Miller
/ William F. Sharpe 1991 Ronald Coase 1992 Gary Becker 1993 Robert Fogel
Robert Fogel
/ Douglass North 1994 John Harsanyi / John Forbes Nash Jr.
John Forbes Nash Jr.
/ Reinhard Selten 1995 Robert Lucas Jr. 1996 James Mirrlees / William Vickrey 1997 Robert C. Merton
Robert C. Merton
/ Myron Scholes 1998 Amartya Sen 1999 Robert Mundell 2000 James Heckman
James Heckman
/ Daniel McFadden


2001 George Akerlof
George Akerlof
/ Michael Spence
Michael Spence
/ Joseph E. Stiglitz 2002 Daniel Kahneman / Vernon L. Smith 2003 Robert F. Engle
Robert F. Engle
/ Clive Granger 2004 Finn E. Kydland
Finn E. Kydland
/ Edward C. Prescott 2005 Robert Aumann
Robert Aumann
/ Thomas Schelling 2006 Edmund Phelps 2007 Leonid Hurwicz
Leonid Hurwicz
/ Eric Maskin
Eric Maskin
/ Roger Myerson 2008 Paul Krugman 2009 Elinor Ostrom
Elinor Ostrom
/ Oliver E. Williamson 2010 Peter A. Diamond / Dale T. Mortensen
Dale T. Mortensen
/ Christopher A. Pissarides 2011 Thomas J. Sargent
Thomas J. Sargent
/ Christopher A. Sims 2012 Alvin E. Roth
Alvin E. Roth
/ Lloyd S. Shapley 2013 Eugene Fama
Eugene Fama
/ Lars Peter Hansen
Lars Peter Hansen
/ Robert J. Shiller 2014 Jean Tirole 2015 Angus Deaton 2016 Oliver Hart / Bengt Holmström 2017 Richard Thaler

v t e

2001 Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize


William Standish Knowles
William Standish Knowles
(United States) Ryōji Noyori
Ryōji Noyori
(Japan) Karl Barry Sharpless (United States)


V. S. Naipaul
V. S. Naipaul
(Trinidad & Tobago/United Kingdom)


United Nations Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan


Eric Allin Cornell
Eric Allin Cornell
(United States) Wolfgang Ketterle
Wolfgang Ketterle
(Germany) Carl Wieman
Carl Wieman
(United States)

Physiology or Medicine

Leland H. Hartwell (United States) Tim Hunt
Tim Hunt
(United Kingdom) Paul Nurse
Paul Nurse
(United Kingdom)

Economic Sciences

George Akerlof
George Akerlof
(United States) Michael Spence
Michael Spence
(United States) Joseph Stiglitz
Joseph Stiglitz
(United States)

Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
recipients 1990 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 2000 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

v t e

Presidents of the American Economic Association


Francis A. Walker (1886) Charles F. Dunbar (1893) John B. Clark (1894) Henry C. Adams (1896) Arthur T. Hadley (1898) Richard T. Ely
Richard T. Ely


Edwin R. A. Seligman (1902) Frank W. Taussig (1904) Jeremiah W. Jenks (1906) Simon N. Patten (1908) Davis R. Dewey (1909) Edmund J. James
Edmund J. James
(1910) Henry W. Farnam (1911) Frank A. Fetter (1912) David Kinley (1913) John H. Gray (1914) Walter F. Willcox (1915) Thomas N. Carver (1916) John R. Commons
John R. Commons
(1917) Irving Fisher
Irving Fisher
(1918) Henry B. Gardner (1919) Herbert J. Davenport
Herbert J. Davenport
(1920) Jacob H. Hollander (1921) Henry R. Seager (1922) Carl C. Plehn (1923) Wesley C. Mitchell (1924) Allyn A. Young (1925)


Edwin W. Kemmerer
Edwin W. Kemmerer
(1926) Thomas S. Adams (1927) Fred M. Taylor
Fred M. Taylor
(1928) Edwin F. Gay (1929) Matthew B. Hammond (1930) Ernest L. Bogart (1931) George E. Barnett (1932) William Z. Ripley
William Z. Ripley
(1933) Harry A. Millis
Harry A. Millis
(1934) John M. Clark (1935) Alvin S. Johnson (1936) Oliver M. W. Sprague (1937) Alvin H. Hansen (1938) Jacob Viner (1939) Frederick C. Mills (1940) Sumner H. Slichter (1941) Edwin G. Nourse (1942) Albert B. Wolfe (1943) Joseph S. Davis (1944) I. Leo Sharfman (1945) Emanuel A. Goldenweiser (1946) Paul H. Douglas (1947) Joseph A. Schumpeter (1948) Howard S. Ellis (1949) Frank H. Knight (1950)


John H. Williams (1951) Harold A. Innis (1952) Calvin B. Hoover
Calvin B. Hoover
(1953) Simon Kuznets
Simon Kuznets
(1954) John D. Black (1955) Edwin E. Witte (1956) Morris A. Copeland
Morris A. Copeland
(1957) George W. Stocking (1958) Arthur F. Burns
Arthur F. Burns
(1959) Theodore W. Schultz (1960) Paul A. Samuelson (1961) Edward S. Mason (1962) Gottfried Haberler (1963) George J. Stigler (1964) Joseph J. Spengler (1965) Fritz Machlup
Fritz Machlup
(1966) Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman
(1967) Kenneth E. Boulding
Kenneth E. Boulding
(1968) William J. Fellner (1969) Wassily Leontief
Wassily Leontief
(1970) James Tobin
James Tobin
(1971) John Kenneth Galbraith
John Kenneth Galbraith
(1972) Kenneth J. Arrow (1973) Walter W. Heller (1974) R. Aaron Gordon (1975)


Franco Modigliani
Franco Modigliani
(1976) Lawrence R. Klein (1977) Jacob Marschak (1978) Tjalling C. Koopmans (1978) Robert M. Solow (1979) Moses Abramovitz (1980) William J. Baumol (1981) Gardner Ackley
Gardner Ackley
(1982) W. Arthur Lewis
W. Arthur Lewis
(1983) Charles L. Schultze (1984) Charles P. Kindleberger (1985) Alice M. Rivlin (1986) Gary S. Becker (1987) Robert Eisner (1988) Joseph A. Pechman (1989) Gérard Debreu
Gérard Debreu
(1990) Thomas C. Schelling (1991) William Vickrey
William Vickrey
(1992) Zvi Griliches (1993) Amartya Sen
Amartya Sen
(1994) Victor R. Fuchs (1995) Anne O. Krueger (1996) Arnold C. Harberger (1997) Robert W. Fogel (1998) D. Gale Johnson (1999) Dale W. Jorgenson (2000)


Sherwin Rosen (2001) Robert E. Lucas, Jr. (2002) Peter A. Diamond (2003) Martin Feldstein
Martin Feldstein
(2004) Daniel McFadden (2005) George A. Akerlof (2006) Thomas J. Sargent
Thomas J. Sargent
(2007) Avinash K. Dixit (2008) Angus Deaton
Angus Deaton
(2009) Robert E. Hall (2010) Orley Ashenfelter
Orley Ashenfelter
(2011) Christopher A. Sims
Christopher A. Sims
(2012) Claudia Goldin (2013) William D. Nordhaus (2014) Richard Thaler
Richard Thaler
(2015) Robert J. Shiller
Robert J. Shiller
(2016) Alvin E. Roth
Alvin E. Roth
(2017) Olivier Blanchard
Olivier Blanchard

Authority control

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