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Narayana Kocherlakota named first Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics

June 8, 2015
Narayana Kocherlakota.

Narayana Kocherlakota.

Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and a leading scholar of monetary and financial economics, has been appointed as the inaugural Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester. His appointment is effective January 1, 2016.

Kocherlakota has served as the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank for the past six years.  Previously, he held professorships at Northwestern University, the University of Iowa, Stanford University, and at the University of Minnesota, where he also served as the chair of the economics department.

“This is a fabulous appointment,” said University President Joel Seligman. “Narayana was an extraordinarily distinguished professor at Stanford and Minnesota and has made a significant mark as President of the Minneapolis Fed.  His scholarship and drive can only further elevate our Department of Economics.  I am sure that Lionel McKenzie would be immensely pleased that Narayana will be the initial holder of the endowed professorship named in Lionel’s honor.”

“I could not be more thrilled that Narayana has chosen to become a member of our faculty,” said Gloria Culver, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “The scholarly work he does here will have great impact for the University and the academic world.  Moreover, his leadership and vision will benefit not just the Department of Economics, but also the School of Arts and Sciences more broadly.”

Kocherlakota has published more than 30 theoretical and empirical articles in academic journals on work that focuses on monetary economics and financial economics. In 2010, Princeton University Press published his book, The New Dynamic Public Finance, and in 2012 he was named one of the top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine.

“Narayana has always been an innovative and ambitious scholar, and he has made a broad range of research contributions to macroeconomics, monetary economics and finance,” said Nobel Laureate Lars Peter Hansen, the David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago. “His work includes some very profound and durable contributions to monetary theory and to dynamic contract theory.

“Lionel McKenzie was a remarkable scholar,” added Hansen. “And Narayana Kocherlakota is great choice to become the first Lionel McKenzie Professor.”

“We are thrilled to have Narayana Kocherlakota join the department of economics,” said Srihari Govindan, professor and department chair. “He offers a unique combination of leadership in both economic research and policy, and will enhance the existing strengths in theory and macroeconomics in one of Rochester’s premier programs.”

“In his early career, Narayana was the economists’ economist, making many important contributions to the literature on economic incentives, presented in state-of-the-art technical form,” said Robert Hall, the Robert and Carole McNeil Joint Hoover Senior Fellow and professor of economics at Stanford University.

“Then he pivoted abruptly to become a leading economic policymaker, as president of the Minneapolis Fed and member of the all-important federal open-market committee, responsible for steering the U.S. economy,” explained Hall. “With his re-entry to academic research and teaching, we can look forward to a vigorous hybrid, applying technical economic analysis to distinctly real-world problems.”

“I am truly honored to have been selected to serve as the first Lionel McKenzie Professor of the University of Rochester,” Kocherlakota said. “The University has a long, rich academic history with eight Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and alumni, and I am excited to become a member of such a distinguished institution.”

Lionel McKenzie was the founder of the University of Rochester’s doctoral program in economics, a program he launched in 1957 when he joined the economics department. McKenzie was one of the chief architects of modern general equilibrium theory and was widely admired for the clarity and rigor of his work. The Lionel W. McKenzie Professorship was established at the University with a gift from the late Fred Jensen ’42.

Kocherlakota received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Princeton University and a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.  He is married to Barbara McCutcheon, who also holds a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago.

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Category: University News