George Arthur Akerlof (born June 17, 1940) is an American economist who is a university professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and Koshland Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. He won the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with Michael Spence and Joseph E. Stiglitz).
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- To understand the economy then is to comprehend how it is driven by the animal spirits. Just as Adam Smith’s invisible hand is the keynote of classical economics, Keynes’ animal spirits are the keynote to a different view of the economy — a view that explains the underlying instabilities of capitalism.
- George Akerlof and Robert Shiller. Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism, 2009, Preface
Quotes about Akerlof
- Each individual family, then, does almost as well with a good rule of thumb as it would with perfect rationality—close enough to make perfect rationality an irrational goal. But now comes Akerlof's big insight: "near-rational" behavior and perfectly rational behavior have very different implications for policy.
- Paul Krugman, Peddling Prosperity (1994), Ch. 8 : In the Long Run Keynes is Still Alive