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Northwestern Professor Receives Labor Economics Honor

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February 2, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Dale T. Mortensen, the Ida C. Cook Professor of Economics at Northwestern University, was one of three economists chosen distinguished fellows of the American Economics Association in 2008. The AEA is the oldest and most important professional organization in the field.

Mortensen's research and teaching interests are in labor economics, macroeconomics and economic theory. Pioneering the theory of job search and its application to the problem of unemployment, he revolutionized the economic analysis of labor markets. He then extended the tools of search theory to study labor turnover, research and development, personal relationships and labor reallocation. His insight that friction is equivalent to the infrequent and unpredictable arrival of trading partners has become the leading technique for analysis of labor markets and the effects of labor market policy.

Currently Mortensen researches the development of equilibrium dynamic models designed to account for wage dispersion, the time series behavior of job and worker flows and economic growth through product innovation.

His publications include the 2003 book "Wage Dispersion: Why Are Similar Workers Paid Differently," more than 50 scientific articles and contributions to books.

Mortensen is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (and co-winner of its 2005 Prize in Labor Economics), past president of the Society of Economics Dynamics, a founding editor of the Review of Economic Dynamics and a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the University of Chicago's Society for Labor Economics. He received the 2007 Jacob Mincer Award from the Society of Labor Economists for lifetime contributions to the field.

He has been on the Northwestern faculty since 1965 and also has been a visiting professor, researcher and lecturer at universities in the United States and abroad, including Cornell University, California Institute of Technology, the University of Essex, Hebrew University, Central Institute of Mathematics–Economics in Moscow and the Australian National University.
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