The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Akerlof, George Arthur (Born 1940)

  • Brian G. M. Main
Reference work entry


George Akerlof is forever associated with his landmark 1970 paper, ‘The market for “lemons”’, which transformed the way economists approach markets where there is a difference between the transacting agents in the information they possess. This concept of asymmetric information, with its major impact on many fields of economics, was singled out when, in 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (along with Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz). A more comprehensive assessment of his contribution to economics would be as providing a better behavioural underpinning for macroeconomics as a major figure in the New Keynesian movement.


Akerlof, G Asymmetric information Caste system Efficiency wage theory Friedman, M Neuroeconomics New Keynesian economics Inflation-unemployment trade-off Market for lemons Social norms 

JEL Classification

B31 E0 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian G. M. Main
    • 1
  1. 1.