CAMBRIDGE, MA (MIT news) –Economist Daron Acemoglu, whose far-ranging research agenda has produced influential studies about government, innovation, labor, and globalization, has been named Institute Professor, MIT’s highest faculty honor.

Acemoglu is one of two MIT professors earning that distinction in 2019. The other, political scientist Suzanne Berger, has been named the inaugural John M. Deutch Institute Professor.

Acemoglu and Berger join a select group of people holding the Institute Professor title at MIT. There are now 12 Institute Professors, along with 11 Institute Professors Emeriti. The new appointees are the first faculty members to be named Institute Professors since 2015.

“As an Institute Professor, Daron Acemoglu embodies the essence of MIT: boldness, rigor and real-world impact,” says MIT President L. Rafael Reif. “From the John Bates Clark Medal to his decades of pioneering contributions to the literature, Daron has built an exceptional record of academic accomplishment. And because he has focused his creativity on broad, deep questions around the practical fate of nations, communities and workers, his work will be essential to making a better world in our time.”

In a letter sent to the MIT faculty today, MIT Provost Martin A. Schmidt and MIT Chair of the Faculty Susan Silbey noted that the honor recognizes “exceptional distinction by a combination of leadership, accomplishment, and service in the scholarly, educational, and general intellectual life of the Institute and wider community.” Schmidt and Silbey also cited Acemoglu’s “significant impacts in diverse fields of economics” and praised him as “one of the most dedicated teachers and mentors in his department.”

A highly productive scholar with broad portfolio of research interests, Acemoglu has spent more than 25 years at MIT examining complicated, large-scale economic questions — and producing important answers.

“I’m greatly honored,” he says. “I’ve spent all my career at MIT, and this is a recognition that makes me humbled and happy.”

Acemoglu has authored or co-authored over 120 (and still rapidly counting) peer-reviewed papers. His fifth book, “The Narrow Corridor,” co-authored with Robinson, will be published in September. It takes a global look at the development of, and pressures on, individual rights and liberties. He has advised over 60 PhD students at MIT and is known for investing considerable time reading the work of his colleagues.

As a student, Acemoglu received his BA from the University of York, and his MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics, the latter in 1992. His first faculty appointment was at MIT in 1993, and he has been at the Institute ever since. He was promoted to full professor in 2000, and since 2010 has been the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics.


Daron Acemoglu is a Istanbul-born Armenian-American economist who has taught at the MIT since 1993. He is currently Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT.

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