Who are the most influential thinkers in world?
Identify leaders in your chosen discipline, research top professors in your area of study, and search for schools based on the luminaries who most inspire you!
Note: These rankings change dynamically as our artificial intelligence system learns new things and incorporates new publications and citations. Academics are constantly doing research and publishing new insights, with the result that our measure of influence is subject to continual adjustments. For quality assurance reasons, however, we forgo real-time changes, with most public updates happening only quarterly. In any case, don’t be surprised to see our rankings change over time.Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …
1940 - Present (81 years)
Edward Christian Prescott is an American economist. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2004, sharing the award with Finn E. Kydland, "for their contributions to dynamic macroeconomics: the time consistency of economic policy and the driving forces behind business cycles". This research was primarily conducted while both Kydland and Prescott were affiliated with the Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Mellon University. According to the IDEAS/RePEc rankings, he was the 19th most widely cited economist in the world in 2013. In August 2014, Prescott was ap...
1919 - 1996 (77 years)
Hyman Philip Minsky was an American economist, a professor of economics at Washington University in St. Louis, and a distinguished scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His research attempted to provide an understanding and explanation of the characteristics of financial crises, which he attributed to swings in a potentially fragile financial system. Minsky is sometimes described as a post-Keynesian economist because, in the Keynesian tradition, he supported some government intervention in financial markets, opposed some of the financial deregulation policies popular in the...
1895 - 1973 (78 years)
Ragnar Anton Kittil Frisch was a Norwegian economist and the co-recipient of the first Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1969 . He is known for being one of the founders of the discipline of econometrics, and for coining the widely used term pair macroeconomics/microeconomics in 1933.
1940 - Present (81 years)
George Akerlof is a university professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned a B.A. degree from Yale University and a Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1845 - 1926 (81 years)
Francis Ysidro Edgeworth was an Anglo-Irish philosopher and political economist who made significant contributions to the methods of statistics during the 1880s. From 1891 onward, he was appointed the founding editor of The Economic Journal.
1943 - Present (78 years)
Stanley Fischer is an Israeli American economist and former Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve. Born in Northern Rhodesia , he holds dual citizenship in Israel and the United States. He served as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013. He previously served as chief economist at the World Bank. On January 10, 2014, United States President Barack Obama nominated Fischer to be Vice-Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors. On September 6, 2017, Stanley Fischer announced that he was resigning as Vice-Chairman for personal reasons effective October 13, 2017.
1953 - Present (68 years)
Steve Keen is Honorary Professor and Distinguished Research Fellow for the Institute for Strategy, Resilience and Security at University College London. Keen was formerly the Head of the School of Economics, History, and Politics and Professor of Economics at Kingston University. He earned a B.A. and a Bachelor of Law from the University of Sydney and a Diploma of Education from Sydney Teachers College. He then earned a Master of Commerce in economics and economic history and a Ph.D at the University of New South Wales.
1826 - 1877 (51 years)
Walter Bagehot was a British journalist, businessman, and essayist, who wrote extensively about government, economics, literature and race. He is known for co-founding the National Review in 1855, and for his works The English Constitution and Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market .
1694 - 1774 (80 years)
François Quesnay was a French economist and physician of the Physiocratic school. He is known for publishing the "Tableau économique" in 1758, which provided the foundations of the ideas of the Physiocrats. This was perhaps the first work attempting to describe the workings of the economy in an analytical way, and as such can be viewed as one of the first important contributions to economic thought. His Le Despotisme de la Chine, written in 1767, describes Chinese politics and society, and his own political support for constitutional despotism.
1910 - 2004 (94 years)
Paul Marlor Sweezy was a Marxist economist, political activist, publisher, and founding editor of the long-running magazine Monthly Review. He is best remembered for his contributions to economic theory as one of the leading Marxian economists of the second half of the 20th century.
1939 - Present (82 years)
Eugene Francis "Gene" Fama is an American economist, best known for his empirical work on portfolio theory, asset pricing, and the efficient-market hypothesis.He is currently Robert R. McCormick Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2013, he shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences jointly with Robert J. Shiller and Lars Peter Hansen. The Research Papers in Economics project ranked him as the 9th-most influential economist of all-time based on his academic contributions, . He is regarded as "the father of modern finan
1903 - 1994 (91 years)
Jan Tinbergen was a Dutch economist who was awarded the first Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1969, which he shared with Ragnar Frisch for having developed and applied dynamic models for the analysis of economic processes. He is widely considered to be one of the most influential economists of the 20th century and one of the founding fathers of econometrics. It has been argued that the development of the first macroeconometric models, the solution of the identification problem, and the understanding of dynamic models are his three most important legacies to econometrics. Tinber
1958 - Present (63 years)
Greg Mankiw is the Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a well-known macroeconomist of the New Keynesian school. He earned a B.A. in economics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studied law briefly at Harvard Law School before returning to become an assistant professor of economics at Harvard University.
1790 - 1855 (65 years)
Richard Jones was an English economist who criticised the theoretical views of David Ricardo and T. R. Malthus on economic rent and population.Life The son of a solicitor, Jones was intended for the legal profession, and was educated at Caius College, Cambridge. Owing to ill-health, he abandoned the idea of the law and took orders soon after leaving Cambridge. For several years he held curacies in Sussex and Kent.
1941 - Present (80 years)
Walter Edward Block is an American Austrian School economist and anarcho-capitalist theorist. He currently holds the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Economics at the School of Business at Loyola University New Orleans, and is a senior fellow of the non-profit think-tank Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. He is best known for his 1976 book Defending the Undefendable, which takes contrarian positions in defending acts which are illegal or disreputable but Block argues are actually victimless crimes or benefit the public.
1806 - 1873 (67 years)
John Stuart Mill , usually cited as J. S. Mill, was an English philosopher, political economist, Member of Parliament , and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy. Dubbed "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century", he conceived of liberty as justifying the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control. In his later years, whilst continuing to staunchly defend individual rights and freedoms, he bec...
1939 - Present (82 years)
Richard Posner is a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School who served as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He earned his A.B. degree in English literature from Yale University (summa cum laude), and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude and valedictorian).
1851 - 1926 (75 years)
Johan Gustaf Knut Wicksell was a leading Swedish economist of the Stockholm school. His economic contributions would influence both the Keynesian and Austrian schools of economic thought. He was married to the noted feminist Anna Bugge.
1948 - Present (73 years)
Olivier Jean Blanchard is a French economist and professor who is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He was the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund from September 1, 2008, to September 8, 2015. Blanchard was appointed to the position under the tenure of Dominique Strauss-Kahn; he was succeeded by Maurice Obstfeld. He also is a Robert M. Solow Professor of Economics emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . He is one of the most cited economists in the world, according to IDEAS/RePEc.
1942 - Present (79 years)
Deirdre Nansen McCloskey is the Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago . She is also adjunct professor of Philosophy and Classics there, and for five years was a visiting Professor of philosophy at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Since October 2007 she has received six honorary doctoratess. In 2013, she received the Julian L. Simon Memorial Award from the Competitive Enterprise Institute for her work examining factors in history that led to advancement in human achievement and prosperity. Her main research interests i...
1939 - 2019 (80 years)
Martin Stuart Feldstein was an American economist. He was the George F. Baker Professor of Economics at Harvard University and the president emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research . He served as president and chief executive officer of the NBER from 1978 to 2008 . From 1982 to 1984, Feldstein served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers and as chief economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan and had deficit hawk views clashed with the Reagan administration's policies of large military expenditure policies
1862 - 1945 (83 years)
John Rogers Commons was an American institutional economist, Georgist, progressive and labor historian at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.Early years John R. Commons was born in Hollansburg, Ohio on October 13, 1862. Commons had a religious upbringing which led him to be an advocate for social justice early in life. Commons was considered a poor student and suffered from a mental illness while studying. He was allowed to graduate without finishing because of the potential seen in his intense determination and curiosity. At this time, Commons became a follower of Henry George's 'single tax
1766 - 1834 (68 years)
Thomas Robert Malthus was an English cleric, scholar and influential economist in the fields of political economy and demography.In his 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus observed that an increase in a nation's food production improved the well-being of the population, but the improvement was temporary because it led to population growth, which in turn restored the original per capita production level. In other words, humans had a propensity to utilize abundance for population growth rather than for maintaining a high standard of living, a view that has become known a
1943 - Present (78 years)
Thomas John Sargent is an American economist and the W.R. Berkley Professor of Economics and Business at New York University. He specializes in the fields of macroeconomics, monetary economics, and time series econometrics. As of 2020, he ranks as the 29th most cited economist in the world. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2011 together with Christopher A. Sims for their "empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy".
1954 - Present (67 years)
Jeffrey Sachs is the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and professor of health policy and management for Columbia University’s School of Public Health. He completed his studies at Harvard University, earning a B.A., an M.A., and a Ph.D in economics.
1838 - 1917 (79 years)
Gustav Friedrich Schmoller was the leader of the "younger" German historical school of economics.He was a leading Sozialpolitiker , and a founder and long-time chairman of the Verein für Socialpolitik, the German Economic Association, which continues to exist.
1932 - 2020 (88 years)
Oliver Eaton Williamson was an American economist, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and recipient of the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, which he shared with Elinor Ostrom.
1903 - 1957 (54 years)
John von Neumann was a Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, engineer and polymath. Von Neumann was generally regarded as the foremost mathematician of his time and said to be "the last representative of the great mathematicians". He integrated pure and applied sciences.
1920 - 2013 (93 years)
Lawrence Robert Klein was an American economist. For his work in creating computer models to forecast economic trends in the field of econometrics in the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1980 specifically "for the creation of econometric models and their application to the analysis of economic fluctuations and economic policies." Due to his efforts, such models have become widespread among economists. Harvard University professor Martin Feldstein told the Wall Street Journal that Klein "was the first to...
1938 - Present (83 years)
Herman Daly is emeritus professor of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. He earned his Ph.D from Vanderbilt University. Daly served as Senior Economist for the World Bank’s Environment Department. With collaborator John B. Cobb, he designed the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare, which they recommended as a better metric of economic health or growth than Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which fails to recognize key markers of economic health.
1904 - 1965 (61 years)
Oskar Ryszard Lange was a Polish economist and diplomat. He is best known for advocating the use of market pricing tools in socialist systems and providing a model of market socialism. He responded to the economic calculation problem proposed by Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek by claiming that managers in a centrally-planned economy would be able to monitor supply and demand through increases and declines in inventories of goods, and advocated the nationalization of major industries. During his stay in the United States, Lange was an academic teacher and researcher in mathematical econom
1947 - Present (74 years)
Hal Ronald Varian is Chief Economist at Google and holds the title of emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley where he was founding dean of the School of Information. Varian is an economist specializing in microeconomics and information economics.
1930 - Present (91 years)
Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, and senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.Born in North Carolina, Sowell grew up in Harlem, New York. Due to financial issues and deteriorated home conditions, he dropped out of Stuyvesant High School and later served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. Upon returning to the United States, Sowell enrolled at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in 1958. He received a master's degree from Columbia University in 1959, and earned his doctorate in economics from the University of Chicago in 1968.
1954 - Present (67 years)
Lawrence Henry Summers is an American economist, former Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank , senior U.S. Treasury Department official throughout President Clinton's administration , and former director of the National Economic Council for President Obama . He is a former president of Harvard University , where he is currently a professor and director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
1927 - Present (94 years)
Vernon Lomax Smith is an American economist and professor of business economics and law at Chapman University. He is formerly a professor of economics and law at George Mason University, and a board member of the Mercatus Center. He was also a founding board member of the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.
1922 - 2017 (95 years)
William Jack Baumol was an American economist. He was a professor of economics at New York University, Academic Director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He was a prolific author of more than eighty books and several hundred journal articles.
1949 - Present (72 years)
Hans-Hermann Hoppe is a German-American paleolibertarian and anarcho-capitalist political theorist. He is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas , Senior Fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the founder and president of the Property and Freedom Society.
1946 - Present (75 years)
John Brian Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.He taught at Columbia University from 1973 to 1980 and the Woodrow Wilson School and Economics Department of Princeton University from 1980 to 1984 before returning to Stanford. He has received several teaching prizes and teaches Stanford's introductory economics course as well as Ph.D. courses in monetary economics.
1944 - Present (77 years)
James Heckman is the Henry Schultz Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development, co-director of Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group, and professor at the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. He earned a B.A. in mathematics from Colorado College and a Ph.D in economics from Princeton University.
1937 - 1996 (59 years)
Amos Nathan Tversky was an Israeli cognitive and mathematical psychologist and a key figure in the discovery of systematic human cognitive bias and handling of risk.Much of his early work concerned the foundations of measurement. He was co-author of a three-volume treatise, Foundations of Measurement. His early work with Daniel Kahneman focused on the psychology of prediction and probability judgment; later they worked together to develop prospect theory, which aims to explain irrational human economic choices and is considered one of the seminal works of behavioral economics. Six years aft
1971 - Present (50 years)
Thomas Piketty is Professor at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and at the Paris School of Economics. He earned his Ph.D from the London School of Economics – at the age of 22, even winning an award from the French Economics Association for his thesis.
1847 - 1938 (91 years)
John Bates Clark was an American neoclassical economist. He was one of the pioneers of the marginalist revolution and opponent to the Institutionalist school of economics, and spent most of his career as professor at Columbia University.
1941 - Present (80 years)
Myron Samuel Scholes is a Canadian-American financial economist. Scholes is the Frank E. Buck Professor of Finance, Emeritus, at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, and co-originator of the Black–Scholes options pricing model. Scholes is currently the chairman of the Board of Economic Advisers of Stamos Capital Partners. Previously he served as the chairman of Platinum Grove Asset Management and on the Dimensional Fund Advisors board of directors, American Century Mutual Fund board of directors and the Cutwater Advisory Board. He was a principal and
1976 - Present (45 years)
Robert Patrick Murphy is an American economist. Murphy is Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University. He has been affiliated with Laffer Associates, the Pacific Research Institute, the Institute for Energy Research , the Independent Institute, the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and the Fraser Institute.
1894 - 1993 (99 years)
Henry Stuart Hazlitt was an American journalist who wrote about business and economics for such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The American Mercury, Newsweek, and The New York Times.
1940 - Present (81 years)
Arthur Betz Laffer is an American economist and author who first gained prominence during the Reagan administration as a member of Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board . Laffer is best known for the Laffer curve, an illustration of the concept that there exists some tax rate between 0% and 100% that will result in maximum tax revenue for government. In certain circumstances, this would allow governments to cut taxes, and simultaneously increase revenue and economic growth.
1906 - 1999 (93 years)
Wassily Wassilyevich Leontief , was a Soviet-American economist known for his research on input–output analysis and how changes in one economic sector may affect other sectors.Leontief won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1973, and four of his doctoral students have also been awarded the prize .
1902 - 1977 (75 years)
Oskar Morgenstern was an economist. In collaboration with mathematician John von Neumann, he founded the mathematical field of game theory and its application to economics .Companies he served as founder/co-founder of included Market Research Corporation of America, Mathematica and Mathematica Policy Research Inc.
1588 - 1679 (91 years)
Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, in which he expounds an influential formulation of social contract theory. In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, jurisprudence, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, and ethics, as well as philosophy in general.
1917 - 2008 (91 years)
Leonid "Leo" Hurwicz was a Polish-American economist and mathematician, known for his work in game theory and mechanism design. He originated the concept of incentive compatibility, and showed how desired outcomes can be achieved by using incentive compatible mechanism design. Hurwicz shared the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work on mechanism design. Hurwicz was one of the oldest Nobel Laureates, having received the prize at the age of 90.
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