Andrei Shleifer ( born February 20, 1961)
Is a Russian American economist and Professor of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1991. Shleifer was awarded the biannual John Bates Clark Medal in 1999 for his seminal works in three fields: corporate finance (corporate governance, law and finance), the economics of financial markets (deviations from efficient markets), and the economics of transition. The Clark medal citation described him as a "superb economist, working in the old Chicago tradition of building simple models, emphasizing basic economic mechanisms, and carefully looking at the evidence.... A recurring theme of his research is the respective role of markets, institutions, and governments."
IDEAS/RePEc has ranked him as the top economist in the world, and he is also listed as #1 on the list of "Most-Cited Scientists in Economics & Business". He served as project director of the Harvard Institute for International Development's Russian aid project from its inauguration in 1992 until it was shut down in 1997.
He was born in Soviet Union and emigrated to Rochester, New York, as a teenager in 1976, where he attended an inner-city school and learned English from episodes of Charlie's Angels. He then studied mathematics, obtaining his B.A. from Harvard University in 1982. Following this, he went to graduate school in economics, acquiring his Ph.D. from MIT in 1986. As a freshman at Harvard, Shleifer took Math 55 with Brad DeLong; he has said that the course made him realize he was not destined to be a mathematician, but the experience gave him a future co-author. Shleifer also met his mentor and professor Lawrence Summers during his undergraduate education at Harvard. The two went on to be co-authors, joint grant recipients and faculty colleagues.
He has held a tenured position in the Department of Economics at Harvard University since 1991 and was, from 2001 through 2006, the Whipple V. N. Jones Professor of Economics. Previously, he taught at the Graduate School of Business at the The University of Chicago and briefly at Princeton University.