Michael Spence

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

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:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Featured Commentary

Are Equities Overvalued?

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Since the global economic crisis, sharp divergences in economic performance have contributed to considerable stock-market volatility. Now, equity prices are reaching relatively high levels by conventional measures – and investors are starting to get nervous.
Featured Commentary

Minimal Financial Reforms Can Lead To Poor Economic Performance

by Michael Spencevia World Finance
Monday, March 9, 2015
At a time of lacklustre economic growth, countries around the world are attempting to devise and implement strategies to spur and sustain recovery. Multiple objectives should be pursued to avoid half-baked results.
Gold Globe
Featured Commentary

Why Public Investment?

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Friday, February 20, 2015
MILAN – The world is facing the prospect of an extended period of weak economic growth. But risk is not fate: The best way to avoid such an outcome is to figure out how to channel large pools of savings into productivity-enhancing public-sector investment.
Euro Zone
Featured Commentary

European Recovery Calls For Comprehensive Plan

by Michael Spencevia Global Times
Sunday, February 1, 2015

At a time of lackluster economic growth, countries around the world are attempting to devise and implement strategies to spur and sustain recovery. The key word is strategy: to succeed, policymakers must ensure that measures to open the economy, boost public investment, enhance macroeconomic stability and increase reliance on markets and incentives for resource allocation are implemented in reasonably complete packages.

China Entrepreneur Club / Creative Commons

Not all Inequality Is Equal

by Michael Spencevia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Inequality does not equal stagnation. Even as differences in income grow, entire nations may benefit.

Featured Commentary

Half-a-Loaf Growth

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

At a time of lackluster economic growth, countries around the world are attempting to devise and implement strategies to spur and sustain recovery. The key word is strategy: to succeed, policymakers must ensure that measures to open the economy, boost public investment, enhance macroeconomic stability, and increase reliance on markets and incentives for resource allocation are implemented in reasonably complete packages.

Featured Commentary

Five Reasons For Slow Growth

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Monday, December 29, 2014
MILAN – A remarkable pattern has emerged since the 2008 global financial crisis: Governments, central banks, and international financial institutions have consistently had to revise their growth forecasts downward.
Featured Commentary

Reforming China’s Commanding Heights

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Monday, November 17, 2014

MILAN – Chinese President Xi Jinping’s massive anti-corruption campaign has advanced a number of key objectives: It has gone a long way toward restoring confidence in the Communist Party’s commitment to a merit-based system; countered a decades-old pattern of public-sector domination; reduced the power of vested interests to block reform; and bolstered Xi’s popularity among private-sector actors, if far less so with the bureaucracy.

Featured Commentary

Growth in the New Climate Economy

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Friday, October 31, 2014

MILAN – Action to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and mitigate climate change has long been viewed as fundamentally opposed to economic growth. Indeed, the fragility of the global economic recovery is often cited as a justification to delay such action.

Featured Commentary

Europe’s Bargain

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Friday, September 19, 2014
MILAN – In July, the European Commission published its sixth report on economic, social, and territorial cohesion (a term that can be roughly translated as equality and inclusiveness).

Pages