(Combined Sources)–Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Daron Acemoglu–an ethnic Armenian–is the 2005 recipient of the John Bates Clark medal–awarded every other year to the nation’s top economist under the age of 40 for making a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.
The American Economic Association–which presents the medal–cited Acemoglu–37–for his "valuable contributions to several distinct fields–starting with labor economics and successively moving to macroeconomics–institutional economics and political economy."
His most recent work has focused on the role of political institutions in economic development. Acemoglu’s current work explores the links among political structure–legal and market institutions–and a nation’s long-run rate of economic growth. It takes into account the differing effects of institutions established by colonial powers in North America–South America–and Africa on economic development in countries in those regions.
Acemoglu–who came to MIT in 1993 and received his PhD from the London School of Economics–is the fifth member of the present Economics Department to receive the Clark Medal. He was promoted to full professor in 2000–and was named the Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics in 2004.
The Clark Medal–eminent in its own right–has proven a predictor of future Nobel laureates: of the 29 Clark medalists–11 have gone on to win the Nobel.