Edmund Phelps

Winner of the 2006 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Sciences.

A foremost economist who has devoted his career to examining the human and financial implications of economic growth, unemployment and labour markets, Edmund Phelps has acted as a consultant to governments all over the world. The McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University, he has written numerous influential books and articles and has participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos for many years.

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About Edmund Phelps

One of the most respected academics in his field, economist Edmund S. Phelps is determined that financial policies should support government, business and people on an individual level. His research focussing on the causes and the impact of unemployment, job satisfaction and productivity have proved highly influential.

Original, insightful and dedicated to his research as a seasoned academic, Professor Phelps imparts with precision and thoroughness his economic viewpoint.

Awards, accolades, achievements, honours

  • Mendeleev Medal for Achievement in the Sciences Russia (2012)
  • Presidents Medal - National University of Ireland (2012)
  • Honorary patron - University Philosophical Society, Trinity College (2012)
  • Member - Russian Academy of Sciences (2011)
  • Louise Blouin Award for Creative Leadership (2011)
  • Participant - Panel on Rebuilding Economics, Davos World Economic Forum (2010)
  • Advisory board member - New York Forum (2010)
  • Advisory board member - Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship, MIT (2009)
  • Member - Economic Club of New York (2009)
  • Chevalier of the National Order of the Lgion dHonneur - France (2008)
  • Honorary member - European Academy of Sciences and Arts (2008)
  • Global Economy Prize - Institut fr Weltwirtshaft (2008)
  • Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2006)
  • Founder/Director - Center on Capitalism and Society (2001)
  • Research Fellow - Observatoire Franais des Conjonctures conomiques (2001 present)
  • Distinguished Fellow - American Economic Association (2000)
  • Kenan Enterprise Award (1996)
  • Vice-chair in Economics - New York Academy of Sciences (1985 -1995)
  • Co-director International School of Economic Research, University of Siena (1987 -1990)
  • President - Atlantic Economic Society (1983 1984)
  • McVickar Professor of Political Economy - Columbia University (1983 present)
  • Fellow - Guggenheim Foundation (1978)
  • Phelps is also an honorary professor at universities throughout the world and has been awarded numerous honorary doctorates.


During his career, Phelps has served as a consultant for organisations such as the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD), the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Senate Finance Committee. The fact that he has occupied so many advisory roles demonstrates his ability and reputation, as does his speaking. Phelps has made speeches and given lectures all over the world, sharing his research and in depth knowledge with governments, other economists and students. He has been a participant at the World Economic Forum in Davos for many years.

In 2001, Phelps founded the Center on Capitalism and Society. He is currently director of the society, in which economists and those in related fields examine the impact of capitalism on society and challenge conventional views regarding national and international economic policy.

Like other foremost academics, Phelps has also worked as a professor, inspiring and challenging the next generation of economists. During his career he has worked with Yale University, Columbia University, New York University and the University of Pennsylvania and has been a visiting professor at many more, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is currently a dean of Minjiang University in China.

Phelps studied at Amherst College in Massachusetts before obtaining his Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1959.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

  • Awarded the Nobel Memorial prize for Economic Sciences, 2006
  • Founding director of the Center on Capitalism and Society
  • McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University

Speaking Topics

  • Employment Determination and Price-Wage Dynamics
  • The natural rate of unemployment
  • Economic growth & labour markets
  • Refitting the West's winning economic model
  • Questions of globalization
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Capitalism v Corporatism


Testimonial for Rewarding Work: "[Phelps] offers a compelling argument for a tapered subsidy to low-wage employment." - Martin Wolf, Financial Times.

Testimonial for Rewarding Work: "Rewarding Work, has drawn rave notices from both conservatives and liberals, making it the most interesting idea in years ... Something like [this] idea ... may be the only way to achieve a lasting political consensus for the open markets and technical advances that, in the long run, benefit us all." - Mathew Miller, Washington Post.

Books By Edmund Phelps

  • Microeconomic Foundations of Employment and Inflation Theory (1970)
  • Political Economy: An Introductory Text (1985)
  • Seven Schools of Macroeconomic Thought: The Arne Ryde Memorial Lectures (1990)
  • Structural Slumps: The Modern Equilibrium Theory of Unemployment, Interest, and Assets (1994)
  • Rewarding Work: How to Restore Participation and Self-Support to Free Enterprise (1997)
  • Enterprise and Inclusion in Italy (2002)
  • Mass Flourishing (2013)

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