George Akerlof received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 for his role in the development of behavioural economics.

Akerrlof is currently Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Prior to joining Georgetown University, Akerlof taught at the University of California at Berkeley from 1966 to 2010. He was Visiting Scholar at the IMF from 2010-14

Akerlof’s research is based in economics, but it often draws from other disciplines, including psychology, anthropology and sociology. In 2001 he was co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, along with Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz . The Nobel Committee cited Akerlof’s 1970 paper, The Market for ‘Lemons,’ which for the first time described the role of asymmetric information in causing market perversity. A vicious circle in used car markets illustrates the phenomenon. Potential sellers of used cars, with their superior information, withhold good cars from the market; buyers react by reducing the price they are willing to pay; and in turn sellers further reduce the quality of cars put up for sale.

He has been senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and past president of the American Economic Association. He is a trustee of Economists for Peace and Security, and co-director of the Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being programme of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. He was Cassell Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics from 1978 to 2010.

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