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U of M President Kaler congratulates former U faculty on receiving the Nobel Prize in economics

October 10, 2011

Two former University of Minnesota Department of Economics faculty – Thomas Sargent of New York University and Christopher Sims of Princeton University – have been awarded the 2011 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences “for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy.”

Sargent taught at the U from 1971 to 1987, while Sims taught at Minnesota from 1970 to 1990.

Their work has helped explain why economies respond the way they do to intervention by central banks or other government authorities.

“We are beyond excited at the University of Minnesota for our former colleagues Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims,” university President Eric Kaler said. “Their accomplishments carry on our economics program’s legacy of teaching and research that has had a worldwide impact.”

Sargent and Sims still have strong U of M ties. Sargent is a current member of the U of M Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute (HHEI) board. The institute was named in part after the late Leo Hurwicz, a longtime professor of economics at the University of Minnesota, who was a co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in economics.

V. V. Chari, University of Minnesota economics professor and HHEI founding director, is available for interviews today to discuss Sargent and Sims’ research.

About the U of M Department of Economics and HHEI

The U of M College of Liberal Arts’ Department of Economics consistently ranks among the nation’s top economics programs. A recent survey showed that Ph.D. graduates of the department hold faculty positions at over 110 colleges and universities, including eight of the top ten rated departments of economics, eight Big Ten universities and a number of selective liberal arts colleges. They also hold faculty positions at fifteen Canadian universities and forty-five other foreign universities. They serve on the staffs of seven Federal Reserve Banks and the Board of Governors; six United States cabinet departments; a large number of ministries and agencies of foreign governments; and major international economic agencies, including the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

HHEI is a global initiative in the Department of Economics, created to inform and influence public policy by supporting and promoting frontier economic research and by communicating its findings to leading academics, policymakers and business executives around the world.

The institute is named after Walter Heller and Leo Hurwicz, world-leading economics scholars who were faculty members at the University of Minnesota from the early 1950s through the 1980s.

For more information about HHEI, visit

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