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Edward Prescott's Mug ShotNobel Laureate in Economic Sciences 2004
W. P. Carey Chair of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, USA
Senior monetary advisor, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, USA

co-reason for the prize:

for their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics: the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles


Main Topics: business cycles and economic development; economic fluctuations; general equilibrium theory and its applications; theory of differences in international incomes; financial markets

Professional Profile: Edward C. Prescott is W. P. Carey Chair of Economics in the W. P. Carey School of Business and a senior monetary advisor at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank.
Prescott is known for his seminal work in policy analysis, business cycles, economic development, general equilibrium theory, and finance. His examination of time inconsistency in the context of government policy making has helped shape the debate over the effectiveness of rules versus discretion in the conduct of economic policy. His work on business cycles has recast the way economists think about economic fluctuations, arguing that they represent the optimal response of the economy to various shocks.

He is a great economist - said Robert Lucas, Nobel Prize in 1995 and Prescott's former colleague - he gave an extraordinary contribution to the economic thinking about the economic theory and its connections to reality

Prescott was lauded for a lifetime of original thinking that has addressed some of the most important long-standing questions in macroeconomics. He was awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize together with Finn Kydland (Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California), and received numerous prizes during his career, among which the Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics in 2003 and an academic award from the "Tor Vergata" University of Rome in 2002.
He is currently a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the Econometric Society. He has held a number of visiting professorships at universities throughout the United States and Europe.


  • Ph.D., Economics , Carnegie-Mellon University, 1967
  • M.S., Operations Research, Case-Western Reserve University, 1963
  • B.A., Mathematics, Swarthmore College, 1962



Selected Works:
  • E. C. Prescott, Barriers to Riches, with S.L. Parente, Cambridge MIT Press, 2000
  • E. C. Prescott, Business Cycle Theory: Methods and Problems, in the International Institute for Economic Research XI Workshop Proceedings, Cycle, Growth and Technological Change, August 1998
  • E. C. Prescott, Economic Growth and Business Cycles, with T. F. Cooley, in Frontiers of Business Cycle Research, Princeton University Press, 1995
  • E. C. Prescott, Banking in Computable General Equilibrium Economics, with J. Diaz-Gimenez, T. Fitzgerald and F. Alvarez, in Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, July/October 1992