honors | December 12, 2010

Daron Acemoglu is the 88th Most Influential Thinker on the Planet

MIT economist Daron Acemoglu has been named to Foreign Policy’s list of 100 Global Thinkers, for “showing that freedom is about more than markets.” In their write-up, the FP editors stop just short of saying he will one day win a Nobel — a not unlikely outcome given that he’s already won the John Bates Clark medal for top economist in the world under 40. (Basically, a ridiculously high proportion of Clark medal winners — Krugman, Stiglitz, etc. — eventually go on to add a Nobel to their repertoire.) Daron also has a new book out next year, Why Nations Fail, in which he posits an entirely new theory on why some countries are rich while others remain desperately poor. The reasons, he tells us, may not be what you’d expect.

From FP’s Global Thinkers:

Some Nobel Prize selections are a genuine surprise. The same won’t be true if Daron Acemoglu, already at age 43 one of the world’s 20 most cited economists, eventually takes the award. Born in Turkey and educated at the London School of Economics, Acemoglu quickly made a name for himself with papers and monographs that examined how economic incentives align with political life. His specialty is the analysis of the political conditions under which markets thrive—namely, democracy. It’s a theme Acemoglu has explored in a steady stream of academic papers, textbooks, and op-eds—work that so impressed his peers that he won the John Bates Clark medal in 2005, given annually to an outstanding economist under age 40.

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