Leading economist to speak at Cornell College

MOUNT VERNON — Professor Kevin Murphy, one of the leading academic economists in the United States, will speak at Cornell College on April 22 in Ringer Recital Studio in Armstrong Hall at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Kevin MurphyMurphy is the George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, and the Graduate School of Business, at The University of Chicago. He will speak on “The Value of Improvements in Health and Longevity.”

He has done path-breaking research in the areas of inequality, unemployment, and relative wages. He is a prolific researcher with major contributions in fields ranging from the economics of growth and development, to the economic value of improvements in health and longevity.

In 2005 he became the first professor at a business school to be chosen as a MacArthur Fellow, the internationally-recognized “genius awards”. He was cited for “revealing economic forces shaping vital social phenomena such as wage inequality, unemployment, addiction, medical research, and economic growth.”

He is the recipient of the 1997 John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to the most outstanding American economist under the age of forty. Some of the most prominent economists of the postwar period were recipients of the Bates Medal, and subsequently went on to win the Nobel Prize.

“He’s brilliant, very brilliant, and I don’t use that term often,” according to colleague Gary Becker, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in economics. “He’s technically very good, catches on quickly, has a good imagination. He’s innovative and he has a good nose for ideas. He is at the top ranks in economics. Among those his age, nobody is better.”

“Kevin is far and away the smartest guy in the field,” says Freakonomics author Steven Levitt, also of the University of Chicago. “Often, the better you get to know these guys, the less ingenious they seem. It’s just the opposite with Kevin. Not only is he widely regarded as the smartest economist on earth, but he can also fix your refrigerator.”

Professor Murphy is the recipient of numerous other awards and fellowships, including a Sloan Foundation Fellowship and an Earhart Foundation Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Professor Murphy received a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1981, and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1986. He has been a member of the Chicago faculty since 1983.

The Berry Center provides distinctive academic enrichment programs for undergraduates in economics, business, and public policy. Students extend theory into practice through internships, visiting speakers, undergraduate research, and off-campus study, thereby learning how economic analysis is applied to decision-making in business and the public sector.