University of Rochester

Prof. Lionel Mckenzie Honored by Japanese Government

November 16, 1995


Fifty of Professor Lionel McKenzie's former graduate students from Japan asked their government to honor the man who taught them the fundamentals of economic theory, and the Japanese government did so on Tuesday, November 14, 1995.

McKenzie's former students now teach economics at each of Japan's major universities. They persuaded the Ministry of Education that McKenzie, Wilson Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Rochester, has had a major influence upon the teaching of economics in Japan.

"We have had more students from Japan in the economics graduate program than from any other country," said McKenzie. His students learned general equilibrium theory from him. The theory deals with price formation and the supply of goods and services in a competitive economy. "It's the sort of thing you teach students to give them a fundamental understanding of a subject, like studying quantum mechanics. It's not an immediately practical subject," McKenzie quipped.

McKenzie and his wife, Blanche, were granted an audience with Emperor Akihito, and McKenzie was inducted into the Order of the Rising Sun, an honor not generally bestowed upon American professors. The award ceremony was conducted at the National Theater in Tokyo.