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George A. Akerlof

University Professor, McCourt School of Policy, Georgetown University

George Akerlof is University Professor at the McCourt School of Policy of Georgetown University. In 2001 he was co-recipient of the Prize in Economic Sciences in honor of Alfred Nobel. 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.Read more

George Akerlof is University Professor at the McCourt School of Policy of Georgetown University. In 2001 he was co-recipient of the Prize in Economic Sciences in honor of Alfred Nobel. 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. Professor Akerlof has also pioneered in the application of sociology and psychology to the workings of the macroeconomy. He has been president, vice president and member of the executive committee of the American Economic Association. He has authored Animal Spirits (with Robert Shiller, 2009), Identity Economics (with Rachel Kranton, 2010), and now Phishing for Phools (with Robert Shiller).

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