Levitt will direct new price theory initiativeBy William Harms
The University has established at the Graduate School of Business the Initiative on Chicago Price Theory and has appointed as its Director Steven Levitt, the Alvin H. Baum Professor in Economics.
“The objective of the initiative’s programs will be to sustain and strengthen a powerful methodology, which emphasizes the role of prices in the fundamental functions of an economic system and which values the development of testable hypotheses, efficient modeling and rigorous applications,” said Edward Snyder, Dean and the George Pratt Schulz Professor in the GSB.
The Initiative on Chicago Price Theory will have dedicated space in the new Chicago GSB Hyde Park Center and will operate as a University-wide center, he said.
The initiative will bring together scholars who share a passion for Chicago price theory and will provide them with an infrastructure of research associates, databases and forums to conduct, present and disseminate their research. “It will provide opportunities for engaging an array of business and government leaders in dialogue that is grounded in sound economic analysis of major issues facing our societies,” Snyder said.
The initiative’s programs will include post-doctoral fellowships to attract outstanding recent Ph.D. graduates, visits by faculty members of other institutions and a fellows program for tenure-track faculty.
The initiative is supported by two gifts, one from Ephraim Gildor (M.B.A.,’88), founder of Gildor Investments, New York, who has committed $5 million over a 10-year period, and another from Ralph Gidwitz (M.B.A.,’74), managing partner of CapitalResults, LLC in Chicago. Gidwitz, a member of the GSB Advisory Council, has committed a major gift to the business school, of which approximately $482,000 will be in support of the Chicago Price Theory Initiative.
Levitt, a leading micro-economist, received the prestigious 2003 John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economics Association for his pioneering and influential work on natural experiments in economics. The medal, bestowed every two years, recognizes the nation’s most outstanding economist under 40.
A University faculty member since 1997, Levitt studies a wide range of topics, including the economic aspects of crime, corruption and education.
Levitt, editor of the Journal of Political Economy, was named in 2001 to the economics section of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the National Science Foundation in 2000, and the University’s Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1998.
He also is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and at the American Bar Foundation.