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.

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Recent Commentary

In the News

Manufacturing Returns To Growth

quoting Michael Spencevia The Telegraph
Monday, April 8, 2019

Amid higher market confidence, the barometer purchasing managers index for China has shown recovery for a second consecutive month.

In the News

Manufacturing Returns To Growth

quoting Michael Spencevia ECNS.com
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index showed that China entered expansion territory in March, indicating a notable improvement in the country's manufacturing sector. Economists said the rise showed policies to bolster growth have begun to pay off, and the world's second-largest economy is likely to achieve steady expansion this year. The PMI, released on Monday, recovered for the second consecutive month and stood at 50.8 in March, versus 49.9 in February.

Featured

The Economic Consequences Of Global Uncertainty

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Monday, March 25, 2019

With new sources of uncertainty seemingly proliferating by the day, a broad economic slowdown should come as no surprise. And as long as the rules and institutions governing the global economy remain in doubt, continued underperformance is to be expected.

Analysis and Commentary

Truly Taking Back Control

by Michael Spence
Monday, March 25, 2019

When people are more able to shape their own futures, they are less likely to be convinced that others are to blame for their plight. To the extent that it weakens support for virulent nationalism, devolution of global governance to national and local communities may make the world a little more...

Analysis and Commentary

The Economic Consequences of Global Uncertainty

by Michael Spence
Monday, March 25, 2019

With new sources of uncertainty seemingly proliferating by the day, a broad economic slowdown should come as no surprise. And as long as the rules and institutions governing the global economy remain in doubt, continued underperformance is to be expected.

In the News

China To Continue Proactive Fiscal Policy: Chinese Finance Minister

quoting Michael Spencevia CGTN
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Larger-scale tax and fee cuts to the tune of nearly two trillion yuan are planned this year to ensure all industries will pay less, while urban employers can contribute a maximum of 16 percent of earnings to cover the basic pension, down from the previous 20 percent, China's top financial officer said on Sunday.
Interviews

Nobel Laureate Michael Spence Positive On China-Italy Cooperation

interview with Michael Spencevia CGTN America
Saturday, March 23, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Michael Spence notes that Italy is struggling economically, and Spence believes having expanded relationships with China under the Belt and Road Initiative could be helpful to Italy, and might expand their market, since China has a huge domestic market. Of course, the two countries have to experiment with terms of engagement till they find the mutually beneficial ways in it.

Featured

Stock Buybacks Are the Wrong Target

by Michael Spencevia Project Syndicate
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Legislation banning companies from purchasing their own shares, or conditioning buybacks on investment in workers, would not significantly alter the distribution of wealth. What it would do is undermine the broad cooperation needed to tackle income inequality and a fast-changing labor environment.

In the News

Teaching Digital Subjects Alone Won't Close The Skills Gap

quoting Michael Spencevia Forbes
Monday, February 18, 2019

A British MP talked about something other than Brexit the other week. Conservative MP Robert Halfon was speaking up for children’s education and how he wanted to smash up the current exam system to give young people better skills for their future working lives.

In the News

Lessons For India: How Alibaba Uses Tech To Give Employment To Unskilled Villagers

quoting Michael Spencevia Financial Express
Monday, January 28, 2019

Alibaba -- the Chinese e-commerce giant -- helps people learn relevant job skills at work so that even those who don't possess formal education could be employed.

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