Franco Modigliani


Franco Modigliani

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Franco Modigliani
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1985

Born: 18 June 1918, Rome, Italy

Died: 25 September 2003, Cambridge, MA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA

Prize motivation: “for his pioneering analyses of saving and of financial markets”

Prize share: 1/1


Franco Modigliani was born in Rome, Italy. Following the rise of fascism in his native country, he moved to Paris with his future wife Serena and her family. He returned to Rome in 1939 in order to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Rome. Shortly after, he and Serena applied for an immigration visa for the United States. He taught at several universities around the US before joining the MIT in 1962.


Franco Modigliani was awarded the Economic Sciences Prize for his pioneering research in several fields of economic theory that had practical applications. One of these was his analysis of personal savings, termed the life-cycle theory, which proved useful in predicting the future effects of various pension plans. He also did important research on financial markets with economist Merton H. Miller. They showed that under certain assumptions, the value of a firm is independent of its ratio of debt to equity.

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