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Faculty News March 02, 2023

Princeton economist Alan Blinder to receive 2023 Moynihan Prize for scholarship and public service

Alan Blinder, the Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, will receive the 2023 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize from the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS), the group announced today.

The Moynihan Prize, named for the former U.S. senator from New York, is awarded annually to a leading policymaker, social scientist or public intellectual whose career demonstrates the value of using research and evidence to improve the human condition.

Blinder, an author of many books, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, a former official in the administration of President Bill Clinton and a former vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board, is a member of Princeton’s Class of 1967 and has been a member of the faculty since 1971.

“Alan is an exceptional policy expert and social scientist,” said Amaney Jamal, dean of Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs and the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics. “His policy influence and reach have been and continue to be profound. We are very proud of Alan and this well-deserved honor.”

Blinder “combines world class scholarship and dedicated public service with a steadfast commitment to improving public understanding and the common good through his work,” said AAPSS President Marta Tienda, Princeton’s Maurice P. During Professor in Demographic Studies, emeritus, professor of sociology and public affairs, emeritus, and a senior scholar.

She called Blinder one of the most influential macro economists in the world. “His economics text and scores of academic papers have immeasurably improved the economics profession, and his many books, columns and op-eds have been an invaluable resource to a general public in need of plain-language depictions of complicated economic crises and economic history.”

In good company

Blinder said he was “deeply honored to be awarded the Moynihan Prize. Pat Moynihan was an outstanding person, both in academia and in public service. The same is true of many previous winners of the prize. I’m glad to be in such good company.”

Also commending Blinder was Wolfgang Pesendorfer, chair of the Department of Economics and the Theodore A. Wells ’29 Professor of Economics. “This is a wonderful and well-deserved honor for Alan, who has contributed so much to public policy through his public service and his intellectual leadership,” Pesendorfer said.

Blinder was a member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1993 and 1994 and served as vice chair of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1994 to 1996. He has frequently advised members of Congress and presidential campaigns on economic policy. He appears frequently on CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg and other networks.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Blinder earned an A.B. at Princeton, an M.Sc. at the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all in economics.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and a John Kenneth Galbraith Fellow of AAPSS.  He is also a former trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and remains active in several national organizations, including the Council on Foreign Relations.

“Alan is one of my favorite macroeconomists,” said Atif Mian, the John H. Laporte, Jr. Class of 1967 Professor in Public Policy and Finance and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance. “His intuitive appeal for what is important and relevant, versus what should mostly be confined to intellectual fascination at best is incredible. The Moynihan Prize is a well-deserved recognition of Alan’s tremendous contributions as an academic, author and public servant.”

Founding director

At Princeton, Blinder was the founder of the Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies, which he either directed or co-directed from 1989 to 2011.

His most recent book, A Monetary and Fiscal History of the United States, 1961-2021, was published in 2022 by Princeton University Press.

Blinder will receive the Moynihan prize later this year at a public event in Washington, D.C.

Markus Brunnermeier, director of Princeton’s Bendheim Center for Finance and the Edward S. Sanford Professor of Economics, called Blinder a “perfect pick” for the award.

“Alan Blinder showed us all that an economist can step out the ivory tower to shape the real world as thoughtful policy maker, eloquent commentator, and inspiring teacher to next generation of leaders,” Brunnermeier said.

Photo of Alan Blinder by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications

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