Department of Economics alumnus wins the John Bates Clark Medal
Jonathan Levin PhD ’99 named best economist under 40
Faculty, alumni, and former faculty
of the School's Department of Economics
have won the last eight Clark Medals
Contributions to auction theory and market design
Jonathan Levin PhD ’99 was named winner of the John Bates Clark Medal on Friday, awarded annually by the American Economics Association to the best economist under the age of 40.
Levin, a professor of economics at Stanford University, conducts research on industrial organization as well as the structure of markets. His work has looked at the nature of contractual relationships in business; the effects of imperfect information in the subprime lending and insurance markets; and the implications of auction-based markets for business competition, among other topics. He wrote his PhD thesis under the supervision of Bengt Holmstrom, the Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics at MIT.
PhD thesis under the supervision of Professor Bengt Holmstrom
"This is fantastic news,” said Holmstrom in an e-mail to MIT News. “Once again, one of our students has received the highest recognition short of a Nobel Prize. John's great gift is in being able to see the essential in economic problems and work on them both theoretically and empirically. His contributions to game theory, especially auction theory and market design, have been academically influential and of great practical use."
“Once again, one of our students has received the highest
recognition short of a Nobel Prize. John's great gift is in being
able to see the essential in economic problems and work on them
both theoretically and empirically."
— Bengt Holmstrom, Paul A. Samuelson Professor of Economics
About the Clark Medal and other MIT recipients
The Clark Medal was given in odd-numbered years from its inception in 1947 until 2009, when the AEA began to bestow it annually. The Clark is often referred to as the “Baby Nobel"; 12 of the 32 economists who have won it have also later received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
Levin is the third straight winner of the Clark Medal to have earned a PhD from MIT in 1999, following last year’s winner, MIT professor Esther Duflo, and the 2009 winner, Emmanuel Saez. MIT faculty, alumni and former faculty have won the last eight Clark Medals, including former MIT professor Susan Athey in 2007; MIT professor Daron Acemoglu in 2005; Steven Levitt PhD ’94 in 2003; Matthew Rabin PhD ’89 in 2001; and Andrei Shleifer PhD ’86 in 1999.
Other past winners who were either MIT faculty or received degrees from MIT include Paul Samuelson, Lawrence Klein, Robert Solow, Franklin Fisher, Daniel McFadden, Joseph Stiglitz, Jerry Hausman, Paul Krugman and Lawrence Summers.