Edmund Phelps, born in 1933 in Evanston, grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson. He earned his B.A. from Amherst (1955) and his Ph.D. from Yale (1959). He is the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University, and Honorary Dean of the New Huadu Business School in Fuzhou, China.
Phelps’s work can be seen as a program to put “people as we know them” back into economic models – accounting for the incompleteness of their information and studying the effects of their expectations on the market. He applies this perspective to study unemployment and inclusion, economic growth, business swings and dynamism. Mass Flourishing, a new book from Princeton University Press, synthesizes his research into a sweeping economic history and a defense of the modern values undergirding economic dynamism.
Phelps was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1982 and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association in 2000. A festschrift conference was held in his honor in 2001. In 2011, he was named a Full Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and received the Louise Blouin Creative Leadership Award. In 2008, he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and awarded the Premio Pico della Mirandola for humanism and the Kiel Global Economy Prize. The same year the University of Buenos Aires Law School established the Catedra Phelps and the Phelps Medal for Innovation. He holds many honorary doctorates or professorships, including from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and his alma mater, Amherst College.