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Daron Acemoglu to hold first Kindleberger chair

Professor of Economics Daron Acemoglu has been selected as the inaugural holder of the new Charles P. Kindleberger Professorship in Applied Economics for a five-year renewable term, effective March 1.

The Kindleberger professorship was established through the generosity of Ching Chih Chen, who received a Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1967, as well as S.B. degrees in physics and management in 1963 and an S.M. in management in 1965. Chen was a student of Kindleberger, a professor of economics from to 1948-76 who died in July 2003.

"Daron Acemoglu is one of the most innovative, high-impact economists in the world today. His enormous creativity and his unusual ability to collaborate with a variety of economists and political scientists make him especially valuable to economics and the related social sciences at MIT. Like the late Professor Kindleberger, Daron's research has very wide appeal and range. He's a wonderful fit for the Kindleberger chair," said Philip Khoury, dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

A political economist, Acemoglu has made fundamental contributions in economic theory, labor economics and political economy. His research has yielded important new insights on how technical change and institutions such as unemployment insurance affect labor market outcomes such as wage inequality and productivity growth. His recent work in political economy explores the links between political structure, legal and market institutions, and a nation's long-run rate of economic growth.

Acemoglu received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees at the London School of Economics and has been at MIT since 1993.

Chen resides in Taiwan and is vice chairman of Central Trading and Development Group and group chairman of Wang Hai Lines.

Chen announced his intention to endow a chair in economics to honor Kindleberger at the memorial service on Oct. 30, 2003. During a moving tribute, Chen, accompanied by his wife Ruth and son Randy (M.B.A. 1999), said he would never forget the role Kindleberger played in his life by accepting him into the MIT doctoral program in economics.

Chen also created the Morris Adelman chair in the Sloan School of Management in 1999.

An economic historian, Kindleberger was a central figure in the creation of the Marshall Plan. He held a number of positions in government, including the Federal Reserve and the Office of Strategic Services.

Kindleberger was the Ford International Professor of Economics. His areas of specialty included international trade, and economic and financial history. He also wrote an often-reissued book, "Manias, Panics and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 7, 2004.

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