University of Rochester

Economist Ronald Jones Elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association

May 1, 2009

Ronald Jones, Xerox Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, has been elected a distinguished fellow by the American Economic Association, the nation's premier scholarly organization in economics.

One of only three economists selected for the honor this year, Jones is being recognized for his lifetime contributions to the theory of international trade. He is known for developing trade models that describe how wage rates and the distribution of income between and within countries are linked to commodity prices and a country's endowment of capital and labor. More recently, Jones has used trade theory to focus on how specific fragments of a vertically-integrated production process are increasingly traded in world markets.

Much of this work is summarized in his 2000 book, Globalization and the Theory of Input Trade (M.I.T. Press), in which Jones examines the recent tendency of firms to outsource parts of the production process to other areas of the globe. Outsourcing of labor-intensive activities to regions with lower wages (relative to productivity) is a prime example of this process. Jones has found that for an advanced country, this kind of outsourcing need not prove harmful to labor.

A graduate of Swarthmore College, Jones received his doctorate in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the University in 1958, was named the John Munro Professor of Economics in 1968, and has enjoyed visiting professor appointments at Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley, the London School of Economics, Columbia University, the University of Stockholm, and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, among others. He is the author or coauthor of more than 160 research papers and three books, including World Trade and Payments (Addison Wesley), a textbook on international trade and finance now in its ninth edition.

Jones is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. The recipient of the 1994 University Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, he has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from five institutions, including the Warsaw School of Economics and Athens University of Economics and Business. Jones will accept a sixth honorary degree in September 2009 from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Established in 1885, the American Economic Association encourages the free discussion of economic topics, publishes scholarly journals, and promotes economic research, especially the historical and statistical study of the actual conditions of industrial life. Along with Jones, the association will honor as new fellows Nobel laureate Douglass North and Stanford University economist John Pencavel at their national meeting in Atlanta in January 2010.

At the University, three other members of the Department of Economics have received the association's Award of Distinguished Fellow: Lionel W. McKenzie in 1993, Walter Oi in 1995, and Stanley Engerman in 2005.