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Edmund S. Phelps

McVickar Professor of Political Economy
School of the Arts
Economics Department
International Affairs Building, Suite 1126
  • Director, Center on Capitalism and Society

Edmund Phelps, born in 1933 in Evanston, spent his childhood in Chicago and, from age six, grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson. He earned his B.A. from Amherst in 1955 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1959. He is the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics and the Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University. He was appointed Dean of New Huadu Business School at Minjiang University in Fuzhou in 2010.

Phelps’s work can be seen as a program to put “people as we know them” back into economic models – accounting for the incompleteness of their information, more recently their imperfect understanding, and studying the effects of their expectations on the market. He applies this perspective in studying unemployment and inclusion, economic growth, business swings and what he calls dynamism.

Phelps was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1982 and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association in 2000. A festschrift conference was held in his honor in 2001. In 2012, Professor Phelps was elected an Honorary Patron of the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College and was awarded the Mendeleev Medal for Achievement in the Sciences and the President’s Medal of the National University of Ireland, Galway. In 2011, Professor Phelps was named a Full Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and received the Louise Blouin Creative Leadership Award.  In 2008, he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and awarded the Premio Pico della Mirandola for humanism and the Kiel Global Economy Prize. The same year the University of Buenos Aires Law School established the Catedra Phelps and the Phelps Medal for Innovation. In addition, he holds honorary doctorates/professorships from the Université libre de Bruxelles (2010), Tsinghua University (2007), the University of Buenos Aires (2007), l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (2006), l’Université de Paris-Dauphine (2004), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (2003), the University of Mannheim (2001), the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’ (2001), and his alma mater Amherst College (1985), among others.

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