George Akerlof

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George Arthur Akerlof (born June 17, 1940) is an American economist and Koshland Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He won the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2001 (shared with Michael Spence and Joseph E. Stiglitz).

Akerlof is perhaps best known for his article, "The Market for Lemons: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism", published in Quarterly Journal of Economics in 1970, in which he identified the severe problems that may afflict markets characterized by asymmetrical information.

In Efficiency Wage Models of the Labor Market, Akerlof and coauthor Janet Yellen propose rationales for the efficiency wage hypothesis in which employers pay above the market-clearing wage, in contradiction to the conclusions of neoclassical economics.

Akerlof received his Bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1962, and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1966 and has taught at London School of Economics. His maternal great-grandfather was born in Oakland, California and was an alumnus of UC Berkeley (Class of 1873). His maternal grandfather was also a Berkeley alumnus. His wife Janet Yellen is a professor of economics at UC Berkeley and served on President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors.

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