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Alumni power fuels this week’s MIT150 economics and finance symposium

MIT's strength in economics and finance education is manifest in this week's alumni-rich lineup of panelists.

At this week's symposium, Economics and Finance: From Theory to Practice to Policy — the first of six such events being held as part of MIT's 150th anniversary celebration — alumni will play a central role: 22 of the panelists have earned degrees from the Institute.

In addition, nearly 300 alumni have registered to attend the symposium, which takes place beginning at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27, and Friday, Jan. 28, in Kresge Auditorium.

Of the 22 alumni panelists, 13 are economics professors from the University of California at Berkeley, Princeton, Stanford, Harvard, the University of Chicago, and MIT. Two teach finance at Duke and MIT, respectively. Six of the seven Nobel laureates slated to take to the podium are alumni. Each was honored by the Nobel committee with the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences.

Nobel laureate Robert Merton PhD '70, who teaches finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management, will deliver Friday's keynote on the future of finance. Merton's current academic interests include financial innovation and dynamics of institutional change, controlling the propagation of macro financial risk, and improving methods of measuring and managing sovereign risk. Other notable alumni presenters include Olivier Blanchard PhD '77, MIT economics professor and chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, and Hal R. Varian ’69, Google's chief economist.

In the MIT150 Infinite History narratives, you can learn more about MIT alumni faculty in economics and finance, such as two economists who have won Nobels and served as Institute professors — Peter Diamond PhD ’63 and Paul Samuelson SM ’77, PhD ’87.

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