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Northwestern Economist Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Robert Gordon named a Distinguished Fellow by American Economic Association

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April 22, 2014 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Robert J. Gordon, the Stanley G. Harris Professor in the Social Sciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University and considered to be one of the most influential macroeconomists in the world, has been named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association (AEA).

The Distinguished Fellow awards annually recognize the lifetime research contributions of four distinguished economists.

With a particular interest in unemployment, inflation and both the long-run and cyclical aspects of labor productivity, Gordon has been raising questions about the process of economic growth -- questioning whether economic growth is a continuous process that could persist forever.

For more than three decades, he has been a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s (NBER) Business Cycle Dating Committee, which determines the start and end dates for recessions in the United States.

Since 1965, past presidents of the AEA have been recognized as Distinguished Fellows, and up to four additional individuals may be elected for the award in one calendar year. Distinguished Fellows are selected by the AEA Nominating Committee and voting members of the Executive Committee, sitting together as an electoral college.

“I am honored to join the group of eminent economists who have previously been selected as Distinguished Fellows,” Gordon said. “My case is unique in that my father was named as a Distinguished Fellow in 1972, thus making us the only father-son team since the award was established in 1965.”

Gordon joined Northwestern’s economics department in 1973 and is the author of numerous journal articles, working papers and books, including a textbook in intermediate macroeconomics, now in its 12th edition. He has also written extensively about the productivity and profitability of the airline industry. Gordon served as department chair from 1992-1996 and was named the Stanley G. Harris Professor in the Social Sciences in 1987. He is also a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The late Dale Mortensen, the Board of Trustees Professor of Economics at Northwestern in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and Nobel laureate also was named a Distinguished Fellow by the AEA in 2008.

In addition to Gordon, the 2014 recipients of the Distinguished Fellow award are Robert J. Barro of Harvard University, Gregory Chi-Chong Chow of Princeton University and Richard Zeckhauser of Harvard. They all will be honored at the AEA Annual Meeting in Boston in January.

The AEA encourages economic research, issues publications on economic subjects and encourages perfect freedom of economic discussion. With more than 18,000 members, the Association publishes the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic Perspectives and American Economic Journals: Applied Economics, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. 

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