Ariel Pakes

Harvard University


Election Year: 2017
Primary Section: 54, Economic Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

Ariel Pakes is the Thomas Professor of Economics at the Department of Economics at Harvard University, where he teaches courses in Industrial Organization and Econometrics. He is recognized for his work he has done in developing methodology that enables the analysis of market outcomes of policy and environmental change. Ariel was born and grew up in Edmonton Canada, received a BA and MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a doctorate from Harvard University. He taught at the Hebrew University, the University of Wisconsin and Yale University before moving to Harvard.  Ariel received the Frisch Medal of the Econometric Society in 1986, was the distinguished fellow of the Industrial Organization Society in 2007, and was awarded the Jean-Jaques La ont Prize in 2017. Ariel was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2002 and to the National Academy of Science in 2017. Ariel has chaired the AEA Census Advisory Panel, been on the editorial board of several journals and on a number of NSF, American Academy, National Academy of Sciences, American Economic Society and Econometric Society committees. Much of his methodological work has been incorporated into the way government agencies evaluate the likely impact of policy changes, and some has been incorporated into the economic statistics appearing in government reports.

Research Interests

Ariel0s research has focused on developing methodology that enables empirical analysis of the market responses to environmental and policy changes (e.g. mergers, tari changes, factor price changes...). This includes; i) the estimation of demand systems that are capable of analyzing the impact of these changes on prices and the demand for new products, ii) developing methods capable of assessing the impact of such changes on productivity, and iii) developing models that enables the analssis of the impacts of these changes on investments and hence the evolution of markets over time. This required an the development of certain econometric and theoretical tools. Currently he is working on estimators for problems involving moment inequalities and on empirically useable theoretical and computational tools for analyzing dynamic games. In the past Ariel applied these tools to the analysis of the auto, health care, and telecommunications equipment industries. He currently focuses on the health care industry. Ariel has analyzed the impact of different incentive schemes for doctors on hospital allocations and is now analyzing the impact of changes in the structure of the health care industry on the quality and cost of health care. Ariel has a related interest in appropriate construction of price indices. He has developed techniques for constructing a more accurate Consumer Price Index, and is currently investigating how we would construct an index that emanates from contractarian thought and covers the cost of what society views as necessities.

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