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George A. Akerlof

AKA George Arthur Akerlof

Born: 17-Jun-1940
Birthplace: New Haven, CT

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Economist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Asymmetric markets

For their work advancing the theory of markets with asymmetric information, economists George A. Akerlof, A. Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz shared the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001. Akerlof's Nobel citation was largely based on his influential paper "The Market for Lemons", which was not about fruit but about used cars, examining the buyer's disadvantage in making a purchase where the seller has much more information about what is being sold. The article was rejected twice as "too trivial to merit publication in a serious academic journal", before it was finally accepted at the Quarterly Journal of Economics in 1970.

His wife, Janet L. Yellen, is also a noted economist, who served on President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors, and collaborated with Akerlof on the book Efficiency Wage Models of the Labor Market. An expert in macro-economics, monetary policy and poverty, Akerlof has described the George W. Bush administration as "the worst government the US has ever had".

Brother: Carl Akerlof (physicist, b. 1938)
Wife: Kay Leong (m. circa 1973, div. 1977)
Wife: Janet L. Yellen (economist, dated 1977-78, m. 1978)
Son: Robert Akerlof (b. Jun-1981)

    High School: Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ (1958)
    University: BS Economics, Yale University (1962)
    University: PhD Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1966)
    Scholar: Economics, Indian Statistical Institute of New Delhi (1967-68)
    Teacher: Economics, UC Berkeley (1968-77)
    Professor: Economics, London School of Economics (1978-80)
    Professor: Economics, UC Berkeley (1980-)

    US Council of Economic Advisers 1973-74
    Federal Reserve 1977-78
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Economic Association
    Brookings Institution Grant (1994-99)
    Canadian Institute for Advanced Research
    Econometric Society
    Institute for Policy Reform
    John Kerry for President
    National Academy of Sciences
    National Bureau of Economic Research Research Associate, Director
    Russell Sage Foundation Roundtable on Behavioral Economics
    Fulbright
    Guggenheim Fellowship
    Nobel Prize for Economics 2001 (with A. Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz)
    German Ancestry Maternal
    Jewish Ancestry Maternal
    Swedish Ancestry Paternal
    Risk Factors: Depression

Author of books:
An Economic Theorist's Book of Tales: Essays that Entertain the Consequences of New Assumptions in Economic Theory (1984)
Efficiency Wage Models of the Labor Market (1986, with Janet L. Yellen)
Explorations in Modern Economics (2003)


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