Edmund Phelps

Edmund Phelps

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Edmund Phelps

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Edmund Strother Phelps, Jr. (born July 26, 1933) is an American economist and the winner of the 2006 Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Early in his career he became renowned for his research at Yale's Cowles Foundation in the first half of the 1960s on the sources of economic growth. His demonstration of the Golden Rule of national saving, a concept first devised by John von Neumann and Maurice Allais, started a wave of research on how much a nation ought to spend on present consumption rather than save and invest for future generations. His most seminal work inserted a microfoundation—one featuring imperfect information, incomplete knowledge and expectations about wages and prices—to support a macroeconomic theory of employment determination and price-wage dynamics. This led to his development of the natural rate of unemployment—its existence and the mechanism governing its size.

Phelps has been McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University since 1982. He is also the director of Columbia's Center on Capitalism and Society.


Early life and education

Phelps was born in Evanston, Illinois, and moved with his family to Hastings-on-Hudson, New York when he was six years old, where he spent his school years. In 1951, he went to Amherst College for his undergraduate education. At his father's advice, Phelps enrolled in his first economics course in his second...
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