The Department of Economics

The Grunberg Lecture Series

Eighteenth Lecture - April 23, 2008

George Akerlof Image
Dr. George Akerlof
Professor of Economics
University of California, Berkeley

Nobel Prize in Economics, 2001

Professor Akerlof received the Nobel Prize, along with colleagues Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz, for his research on asymmetric information. His seminal paper in this area was his “Market for Lemons” study which deals with the market for defective used cars (‘lemons”) but has widespread applications in other areas.


In his lecture Dr. Akerlof is expected to focus how the sense of “who people are and how they think they should behave” can affect economic outcomes. These ideas incorporate the psychology and sociology notion of “identity” in challenging mainstream assumptions about human behavior in economic analysis. For example, the inclusion of identity in models of gender discrimination in the workplace, the economics of poverty and social exclusion, and the household division of labor, can lead to significantly different conclusions from earlier economic analysis.



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