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Macroeconomic Issues Thinkers


This section provides over 50 profiles of the most influential or controversial finance writers, thinkers, and entrepreneurs; those who shaped modern finance through their contributions to both theory and practice. These profiles offer insights into the background, defining moments, and legacies of each of the key characters including: Joseph de la Vega, Franco Modigliani, and Louis Bachelier, to Franco Modigliani, Paul Samuelson, and Myron Scholes.

  • Adam Smith
    The father of modern economics
    Adam Smith was a moral philosopher, a pioneer of political economy, and one of the key figures of the Scottish enlightenment in the 18th century. At 14, he won a scholarship to study mathematics and moral philosophy at Glasgow University, before studying at Balliol College, Oxford. He returned to Glasgow University in 1751, to teach literature, before being appointed Professor of Moral Philosophy at the university. He was then appointed tutor to...
  • Friedrich Hayek
    Influential social theorist and advocate of free markets
    Friedrich Hayek was an influential Austrian economist, and political philosopher, known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism in the mid-20th century. After being decorated for bravery in World War I, and aiding the Austrian government at the Treaty of Versailles, he founded and served as director of the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research, before joining the faculty of the London School of Economics. In...
  • Irving Fisher
    Renowned neoclassical economist of the early 20th century
    Irving Fisher was a mathematical economist, and a pioneer of neoclassical economics and modern behavioral economics, who contributed to the fields of economics, mathematics, statistics, demography, public health and sanitation, and public affairs. He was the first to earn a PhD in Economics from Yale University, where he taught for his entire academic life. He was also a prolific writer covering a wide array of topics. He was best known for his...
  • James Tobin
    American economist proponent of Keynesian economics
    James Tobin was a renowned economist, writer, and Nobel Prize winner, known for his work on portfolio theory, Keynesian economics, Tobin’s q, and the Tobit Model. He taught at Yale for many years, and researched and wrote primarily on macroeconomic issues, as well as working as an economics expert, and policy consultant. He was a member of President Kennedy’s Council of Economic Advisors, served two terms as president of the Cowles Foundation,...
  • Jean-Baptiste Say
    Early classical political economist
    Jean-Baptiste Say was an economist and businessman, writer, social philosopher, and a successful entrepreneur, and businessman. He initially worked as clerk to a merchant in England before returning to France, where he was employed at a life assurance company. His first published work was a pamphlet on the liberty of the press, published in 1789. He taught at the Conservatoire des Arts and Métiers, and Collège de France and, after being removed...
  • John Kenneth Galbraith
    Leading 20th-century economist and institutionalist
    J. K. Galbraith was one of the most influential and best-known economists and writers of the 20th century. He taught at Harvard and Princeton, before serving as deputy head of the Office of Price Administration during WWII. He was also a leader of the Strategic Bombing Surveys of Europe and Japan, an adviser to post-war administrations in Germany and Japan, and later became US Ambassador to India. During the 1950s and 1960s, his economics books,...
  • John Maynard Keynes
    Key economic thinker of the 20th century
    J. M. Keynes was an internationally renowned economist, who had a major impact on 20th century economic practice and fiscal policy. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge University, before entering the India Office of the Civil Service. He later returned to Cambridge to teach economics, while he developed his economic theories, and wrote some of the major economic texts of his time. He was also involved in the war effort for the Treasury Office,...
  • Joseph Schumpeter
    Economist, and political scientist
    Joseph Schumpeter was an influential economist, classical liberalist, and political scientist, whose research on economic analysis, capitalism, business cycles, and entrepreneurship were central to the development of economic theory in the first half of the 20th century. He was Austrian minister of finance during a period of hyperinflation–which caused his dismissal–before turning to banking. As president of Biederman Bank, he made and lost a...
  • Joseph Stiglitz
    American economist renowned for his critical view on globalization
    Joseph Stiglitz is an economist, a writer on globalization and its effects, and a former senior vice-president and chief economist of the World Bank. He has held professorships at Yale, Duke, Stanford, Oxford, and Princeton universities, and currently teaches at Columbia. He chairs the University of Manchester’s Brooks World Poverty Institute, Columbia’s Committee on Global Thought, and is President Elect of the International Economic...
  • Nouriel Roubini
    Leading economic policy adviser
    Nouriel Roubini is Professor of Economics and International Business, Stern School of Business, New York University, and founder and chairman of Roubini Global Economics. After gaining his PhD from Harvard, and joining the faculty of NBER, he worked for the IMF, before returning to academia at Yale, and then Stern School of Business. He has been a Senior Economist for International Affairs on the staff of the President’s Council of Economic...
  • Paul H. O’Neill
    Former Secretary to the US Treasury
    Paul H. O’Neill is an influential economist, who served under the administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and was the US Secretary of the Treasury under George W. Bush, before resigning, and becoming a harsh critic of the Bush regime. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Economics from California State University, Fresno, he went on to gain further degrees at Claremont Graduate University and Indiana University. He worked at the...
  • Paul Samuelson
    One of the founders of modern neoclassical economics
    Paul Samuelson was an influential economist, academic, and consultant who changed the face of economic theory and practice, through his innovations in many areas of economic research. He worked for the National Resources Planning Board, the War Production Board, and Office of War Mobilization and Reconstruction, the Bureau of the Budget, the Research Advisory Panel to the President’s National Goals Commission, the Research Advisory Board...
  • Robert Zoellick
    Former president of the World Bank
    Robert Zoellick was president of the World Bank from 2007 to 2012, having previously been US Deputy Secretary of State. After studying at Harvard Law School and Harvard University, he worked at the US Court of Appeals, before moving to the Treasury department. He has also been a managing director at Goldman Sachs, and managing director and chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Board of International Advisors. He was appointed President George H. W. Bush’s...
  • Ronald Harry Coase
    Influential economist and social policy innovator
    Ronald Coase is an economist and author, and is the Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School. In the early 1940s, he entered government service before becoming an academic in England and then the United States. He has written several crucial papers that have helped the development of economic theory and practice. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics for discovering and explaining the significance of transaction...

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