Michael Spence

Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Econometric Society (elected fellow)

Michael Spence is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor of economics at the Stern School at New York University, and the Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus of Management in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Spence’s latest publication is The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World (2011).

He served as the chairman of the independent Commission on Growth and Development (2006–10).

He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association in 1981. He was awarded the David A. Wells Prize for the outstanding doctoral dissertation at Harvard University and the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize for excellence in teaching.

He served as the Philip H. Knight Professor and dean of the Stanford Business School (1990–99). As dean, he oversaw the finances, organization, and educational policies of the school. He taught at Stanford as an associate professor of economics from 1973 to 1975.

He served as a professor of economics and business administration at Harvard University (1975–90). In 1983, he was named chairman of the Economics Department and the George Gund Professor of Economics and Business Administration. Spence also served as the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard (1984–90), overseeing Harvard College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Division of Continuing Education.

From 1977 to 1979, he was a member of the Economics Advisory Panel of the National Science Foundation and in 1979 served as a member of the Sloan Foundation Economics Advisory Committee. He has served as a member of the editorial boards of the American Economics Review, Bell Journal of Economics, and Journal of Economic Theory.

Spence is a member of the boards of directors for General Mills and a number of private companies. He was chairman of the National Research Council Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy (1991–97).

He is a member of the American Economic Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary

Featured Commentary

The Global Security Deficit

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer is normally a time to take a break from the risks and worries of everyday life, and perhaps to take stock of where we are and where we are heading. But this is increasingly difficult, because our everyday lives are becoming so much riskier and more worrying.

Flex Time

by Michael Spence, David Bradyvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to retain a vibrant economy in a politically dysfunctional system? Embrace flexibility.

Featured Commentary

Rebooting China

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Friday, June 20, 2014

Despite China’s widely discussed economic slowdown, annual GDP growth remains above 7%, implying little cause for alarm – at least for now. The question is whether the government’s efforts to implement structural reforms and transform the economy’s growth model are working – that is, whether internal imbalances continue to threaten long-term economic performance.

Business Technology
Featured Commentary

Labor’s Digital Displacement

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Digital technologies are once again transforming global value chains and, with them, the structure of the global economy. What do businesses, citizens, and policymakers need to know as they scramble to keep up?


Michael Spence on Bloomberg Surveillance

by Michael Spencevia Bloomberg
Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hoover senior fellow Michael Spence discusses the markets, central banks, inflation risks and the US economy on Bloomberg Television.

an image
Featured Commentary

The Gain in Spain

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
US Economy
Featured Commentary

Politics-Proof Economies?

by Michael Spence, David Bradyvia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Governments’ inability to act decisively to address their economies’ growth, employment, and distributional challenges has emerged as a major source of concern almost everywhere. In the United States, in particular, political polarization, congressional gridlock, and irresponsible grandstanding have garnered much attention, with many worried about the economic consequences.

Economics Concept
Featured Commentary

Overshooting in Emerging Markets

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Until relatively recently, countries’ so-called middle-income transitions were largely ignored – in part because what was supposed to be a transition often became a trap. A few economies in Asia – particularly Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan – sailed through to high-income status with relatively high growth rates. But the vast majority of economies slowed down or stopped growing altogether in per capita terms after entering the middle-income range.
Featured Commentary

The Real Challenges to Growth

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Featured Commentary

The Distributional Challenge

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Thursday, January 9, 2014