George A. Akerlof

Facts

George A. Akerlof

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

George A. Akerlof
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2001

Born: 17 June 1940, New Haven, CT, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA

Prize motivation: “for their analyses of markets with asymmetric information”

Prize share: 1/3

Life

George Akerlof was born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He studied at Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at Yale, he worked on the Yale Daily News, where he attempted to steer the magazine towards student related issues. In 1966 he began teaching at the University of California, becoming Goldman Professor of Economics in 1980. Akerlof is married to fellow economist Janet Yellen.

Work

George Akerlof’s research often draws from other disciplines, such as psychology, anthropology and sociology. He played an important part in the development of behavioral economics. His study of markets with asymmetric information concentrated on those in which the sellers of a product have more information than buyers about the product’s quality, using the example of a secondhand car market.

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