Lars Peter Hansen

David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor in Economics, Statistics and the College

Lars Peter Hansen, an internationally known leader in economic dynamics, guides the scholarly direction of the Becker Friedman institute and chairs the Institute Research Council. Hansen was one of the forces behind the 2008 creation of the Milton Friedman Institute (BFI), the predecessor of BFI,and served as its founding director.

Hansen’s work explores formal implications of dynamic economic models in which decision makers face uncertain environments. The main theme of his research has been to devise and apply econometric methods that are consistent with the probabilistic framework of the economic models under investigation. His work has implications for consumption, savings investment, and asset pricing.

Hansen’s early research in econometrics was aimed at developing time series statistical methods to investigate one part of an economic model without having to fully specify and estimate all of the model ingredients. The applications he explored with several coauthors included systems that are rich enough to support models of asset valuation and to identify and clarify empirical puzzles, where real-world financial and economic data were at odds with prevailing academic models.

He continues to explore, analyze, and interpret implications of dynamic economic models in environments with uncertainty from a time-series perspective. His recent research explores ways to quantify intertemporal risk-return tradeoffs and ways to model economic behavior when decision makers are uncertain about how to forecast future economic events.

Lars Hansen won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2013. He won the 2010 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Economics, Finance and Management “for making fundamental contributions to our understanding of how economic actors cope with risky and changing environments.” He also received the CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications in 2008 and the Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics from Northwestern University in 2006.

He was selected to deliver the Princeton Lectures in Finance at the Bendheim Center for Finance in December 2010 and the Tjalling C. Koopmans Memorial Lectures at Yale in September 2008.

He is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Finance Association. He also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and past president of the Econometric Society.

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