NBER Research Associate Joseph E. Stiglitz of Columbia University, NBER Director George A. Akerlof of the University of California, Berkeley, and former NBER researcher A. Michael Spence of Stanford University won the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics.
Stiglitz has been affiliated with the NBER since 1978 and is a member of the Programs in Public Economics and Economic Fluctuations and Growth. Akerlof was elected to the NBER's Board of Directors in 1996, representing the University of California, Berkeley. He had earlier been an NBER Research Associate. Spence is an emeritus professor at Stanford University and is currently a partner in a venture capital firm. He also was an NBER researcher at one time.
All three were awarded the prize for their pioneering work on the shortcomings and imperfections of market systems, also known as the economics of information. They now join a long list of NBER researchers who have received the Prize, including: James J. Heckman and Daniel L. McFadden, 2000; Robert C. Merton and Myron S. Scholes, 1997; Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1995; and Robert W. Fogel, 1993. Other NBER researchers who have won the Nobel Prize in Economics are Simon S. Kuznets, Milton Friedman, Theodore W. Schultz, George J. Stigler, and Gary S. Becker.
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New NBER affiliates are appointed through a highly competitive process that begins with a call for nominations in January. Candidates are evaluated based on their research records and their capacity to contribute to the NBER's activities by program directors and steering committees. New affiliates must hold primary academic appointments in North America. On January 1, 2020, there were 1,581 NBER-affiliated researchers based at 180 institutions.