Professor George Akerlof Lecture

Professor George Akerlof
Nobel Laureate in Economics
Department of Economics
University of California (Berkeley)

will be addressing the Vancouver Institute on March 8, 2008 at 8:15 p.m., Lecture Hall No. 2 in the Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, University of British Columbia.


Economics and Identity:
Moving Beyond the Doctrine of Selfishness


Professor Akerlof won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001. A graduate of Yale and MIT, Dr. Akerlof has been President of the American Economic Association and is a trustee of the Economists for Peace and Security. In the conclusion to his acceptance speech for his Nobel Prize, Dr. Akerlof stated that: "Economics is a far richer field with more interesting, realistic, and detailed models than when I first entered the profession. There is now an increased willingness to base economics on findings in the other social sciences. Over the last thirty years we have been gradually evolving an economics that relies more on careful empirical observation, and less on questionable assumption regarding how rational people must behave. It has been a great pleasure to have been a contributor to this development."

Special lottery draw

Followinhg the lecture, there will be a draw for tickets to the Chan Centre for the March 14 lecture by Dr. Mohammad Yunus. Please see his lecture page for details.

Background Information

(These references were compiled by the webmaster in the hope that they will prove interesting to some readers. The web being what it is, some of them will have vanished by the time you go to look them up, and there is—of course—no guarantee of their accuracy.)

Wikipedia entry
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 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics (shared with Michael Spence and Joseph E. Stiglitz). His father was Swedish and his mother a Jewish/German-American.
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. ...
College and graduate school
Regarding college, I had no choice. My brother had gone to Yale. Even if my brother's choice were not over-riding for my decision, I would probably have heeded the assistant principal of Lawrenceville, who admonished me that I should not wreck my life by even thinking about going to Harvard instead. My first two years at Yale were mainly spent in taking liberal arts courses and working on The Yale Daily News. My last two years were spent learning economics, and then math. When I went to Yale, I was convinced that I wanted to be either an economist or an historian. Really, for me it was a distinction without a difference. If I was going to be an historian, then I would be an economic historian. And if I was to be an economist I would consider history as the basis for my economics. ...
US Nobel Laureate Slams Bush Gov't as "Worst" in American History
Published on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 by IRNA and Der Spiegel (Berlin)
BERLIN - American Nobel Prize laureate for Economics George A. Akerlof lashed out at the government of US President George W. Bush, calling it the "worst ever" in American history, the online site of the weekly Der Spiegel magazine reported Tuesday.
"I think this is the worst government the US has ever had in its more than 200 years of history. It has engaged in extradordinarily irresponsible policies not only in foreign policy and economics but also in social and environmental policy," said the 2001 Nobel Prize laureate who teaches economics at the University of California in Berkeley. ...
[The page includes text of Der Spiegel interview.]