When it comes to the study of economics, we would argue that the University of Chicago is America’s standard-bearer. The department, home of world-renowned economist and author of “Freakonomics” Steven Levitt (he also happens to boast the John Bates Clark Medal for his contributions to economic thought), has produced 12 Nobel Prize laureates. That’s right. 12. Wondering which university’s economics department comes in second in this category? That would be MIT — with 6. That’s cute, MIT. UChicago also boasts the most John Bates Clark Medal recipients among departments of economics. The John Bates Clarke Medal, awarded to economists under the age of 40, has proven to be a strong predictor of who will go on to win a coveted Nobel Prize. As our regular readers know well, we have a crystal ball at Ivy Coach. Our crystal ball hereby projects that Steven Levitt will one day claim the Nobel Prize in economics. And talk about the rich getting richer, news broke this week that the University of Chicago has received a $125 million donation to fund the study of economics.
The Major Gift to UChicago’s Economics Department
As Oliver Staley writes for “Quartz” in a piece entitled “Ken Griffin’s $125 million gift to the University of Chicago is a big bet on the future of economics,” “Ken Griffin, the billionaire founder and CEO of the hedge fund giant Citadel, is donating $125 million to fund the study of economics at the University of Chicago, bolstering what already is arguably the most influential economics department in the world. Griffin’s donation will fund an endowment that will pay for new professors, grants for students, and an incubator for research. The last is critical, as economics research has evolved from the dismal science of studying government statistics to the creation of elaborate experiments to test theories.”
We salute Ken Griffin — who is not to be confused with baseball great Ken Griffey, Jr. — for his most generous gift to the University of Chicago, an institution where economic scholars like Milton Friedman have pioneered economic research that has truly changed our world.