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News Release 05-076

MIT Economist Awarded John Bates Clark Medal

NSF has backed winners since 1961

Daron Acemoglu

Daron Acemoglu, recipient of the 2005 John Bates Clark Medal

May 11, 2005

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

MIT economist Daron Acemoglu is the 2005 recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, an honor awarded biannually by The American Economic Association (AEA) to the nation's top economist under the age of 40.

Named after the American economist, the medal was instituted in 1947 and is considered one of the most prestigious honors in the field of economics. Nearly 40 percent of recipients have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.

Acemoglu's recent research explores the role that social and political institutions play in the economic development of nations around the world. His work suggests that institutions are more important to a nation's economic success than rich endowments of resources or geographic location. The findings have significant policy ramifications for developing countries, according to National Science Foundation program manager, Daniel Newlon.

"Institutions that promote technological change, protect intellectual property rights and encourage research and development are crucial for economic growth--his work shows this," Newlon said.

NSF has funded every John Bates Clark award winner since 1961--including Acemoglu, who received his first NSF grant in 1996. "This shows NSF is getting support to top researchers at a very early stage," Newlon said.

In bestowing the honor, the AEA cited Acemoglu's "valuable contributions to several distinct fields" of economics and noted that his work is "always motivated by real-world questions that arise when facts are difficult to reconcile with existing theory."


Media Contacts
Nicole Mahoney, NSF, (703) 292-5321, email:

Program Contacts
Daniel H. Newlon, NSF, (703) 292-7276, email:

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