Edmund Phelps, Nobel Laureate

Lynne Kiesling

Edmund Phelps has won this year’s Bank of Sweden Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. Can’t argue with that, very important macro work that revealed the complexity of the interaction between inflation and unemployment.

Tyler’s of course got the summary, and his take mirrors mine:

But Phelps is not an economist who has influenced my own thinking much if at all. His major contributions were absorbed, and were standard fare, by the time I was a young’un. For instance I drunk the same macro milk through the writings of Milton Friedman. I find him to be a murky writer, and often he is frustrating to read and hard to pin down. His advocates would characterize him as a “rich” thinker.

For my money, the value of his work is in dialing down the hubris of the government policymaker who thought that monetary and fiscal policy were dials that they could twiddle to control and manage the economy. Phelps’ work helped to introduce some humility to counter that control-oriented exuberance.


2 thoughts on “Edmund Phelps, Nobel Laureate

  1. I was in graduate school from 1970 to 1973, and I can tell you that Phelps’s work was a major influence on those of us concerned with macro in general and labor markets as a part of macro in particular. Now, of course, it’s basically background information that everyone knows and accepts. But, then, it was a paradigm shift.

  2. I was in graduate school from 1970 to 1973, and I can tell you that Phelps’s work was a major influence on those of us concerned with macro in general and labor markets as a part of macro in particular. Now, of course, it’s basically background information that everyone knows and accepts. But, then, it was a paradigm shift.

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