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Quotes and Reaction to Akerlof Nobel Announcement

Daniel McFadden, UC Berkeley economics professor and Nobel Laureate in Economics in 2000:

"George Akerlof's Nobel prize is richly deserved. He and his co-laureates led a revolution in our understanding of how markets behave when different participants have different information about the qualities of commodities being traded. He showed that in the absence of adequate mechanisms to assure quality and verify and enforce contract provisions regarding quality, markets may fail to form or may do a poor job of allocating resources. His work has profound implications for the organization and regulation of important real markets such as the labor market, the market for health insurance, and markets for financial commodities."

Henry Aaron, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution:

Aaron’s reaction to news of the Akerlof win: "Elation. I cannot think of anybody else whose selection would have caused me as much pleasure."

"I just like him very much. He’s a fascinating person, enormously imaginative."

"More than any other person in economics, George has worked to show how the insight from sociology and psychology could broaden, enrich and increase the power of economics. He is, in my opinion, perhaps the most imaginative and creative applier of insights from other disciplines."

Thomas Schelling, University of Maryland, Distinguished University Professor of Economics:

"He is an exceedingly imaginative guy."

"'The Market for Lemons'" brought him to fame in the economics community. People have been noticing him ever sense."

Akerlof is driven by "curiosity and a willingness to do things that most economists consider it not their business to do."

There aren’t many who apply his approach, which draws from anthropology, psychology and sociology. "I would say that when he began doing that it required a little bravery," said Shelling, explaining that economists did not incorporate other social sciences into their research 20 years ago.

"Now he’s significantly recognized and he can do what he wants — especially when a Nobel Prize comes along."

"Usually when somebody gets ahold of something by Akerlof it turns out to be significant. I consider him to be somebody who thinks outside the box."

>>>George A. Akerlof wins Nobel Prize in Economics - 2001

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