Dale T. Mortensen
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2010
Born: 2 February 1939, Enterprise, OR, USA
Died: 9 January 2014, Wilmette, IL, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA; Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
Prize motivation: “for their analysis of markets with search frictions”
Prize share: 1/3
Dale Mortensen was born in Enterprise, Oregon to a family with Scandinavian heritage. His father was a forest ranger. Mortensen first studied at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, before completing his PhD at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1967. He has worked at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, since 1965. He is also a visiting professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. Dale Mortensen is married to musician, composer, and PhD in Religious Studies, Beverly Mortensen. They have three children.
When employers look for workers and job seekers look for work, they do not immediately find each other. The search process requires time and resources, and friction in the market result in less efficient outcomes. Dale Mortensen and Christopher Pissarides have developed theories for these types of markets and have applied them to the labor market. Their models help us understand how regulation and economic policies affect unemployment, job vacancies, and wages. These theories have also been applied in other areas, such as housing markets.
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