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Nobel Laureate in Economics to Join McCourt School of Public Policy

September 23, 2014 – George Akerlof, a 2001 Nobel Prize-winner in economic sciences and senior resident scholar at the International Monetary Fund, will join the faculty of Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy this November.

“The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism,” published by Akerlof in the Quarterly Journal of Economics earned the prestigious prize with colleagues Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz.

The paper explained how the market of used cars demonstrates the economic theory of information asymmetry, in which the seller knows far more about a product than the buyer does.

ORIGINAL THINKER

“Dr. Akerlof is one of the most gifted economists of our day, unafraid to take an unconventional approach to studying markets and our economy,” says McCourt School Dean Edward Montgomery. “We are honored to have him join our school and grateful that our students will have access to one of the most original thinkers in the field of economics.”

A graduate of Yale, Akerlof earned his Ph.D. in economics from MIT. He is the author of numerous scholarly publications, including those with his wife, Janet Yellen, now chair of the Federal Reserve.

The professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley will teach on topics such as when and how economics should be applied to public policy.

TREMENDOUS ASSET

Akerlof’s tenure at Georgetown is made possible by the 2013 gift of $100 million from Georgetown alumnus Frank H. McCourt Jr. (C’75) to establish the McCourt School of Public Policy.

The gift supports an expansion of the school’s core faculty, as well as increases interdisciplinary appointments and stronger cross-campus collaborations.

“We welcome Dr. Akerlof to the distinguished faculty at the McCourt School,” says McCourt, president and CEO of McCourt Global. “Dr. Akerlof’s leadership in the field of economics will be a tremendous asset to our students and to the McCourt School itself as it develops into the world’s preeminent public policy institution.”

Georgetown President John J. DeGioia also welcomed Akerlof.

“It’s a privilege to welcome such a distinguished scholar and committed professor into our Georgetown community,” he says. “Dr. Akerlof’s contributions to the field of economics have been extraordinary, and we look forward to the perspective and insight he will bring to the learning and scholarship taking place on this campus.”