WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ben Bernanke, a distinguished senior fellow in residence with the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, is among three winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in economic sciences.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2022 to Dr. Bernanke, Douglas Diamond, and Philip Dybvig for significantly improving our understanding of the role of banks in the economy, particularly during financial crises.
“I was delighted to learn that I had received this award. I will accept it on behalf of the many distinguished scholars, including Douglas Diamond and Philip Dybvig, who have helped us better understand the role the financial system plays in the broader economy,” said Dr. Bernanke after receiving the call.
Modern banking research clarifies why we have banks, how to make them less vulnerable in crises, and how bank collapses exacerbate financial crises. The foundations of this research were laid by Dr. Bernanke, Diamond, and Dybvig in the early 1980s. Dr. Bernanke analyzed the Great Depression of the 1930s, the worst economic crisis in modern history. Among other things, he showed how bank runs were a decisive factor in the crisis becoming so deep and prolonged. This research has been of great importance in regulating financial markets and dealing with financial crises.
Stephanie Aaronson, Vice President and Director of the Economic Studies Program at Brookings noted “The work of Ben and the other award winners was a significant academic contribution, improving our understanding of the modern banking system, particularly during times of crisis. But as is the case with the best economic research, it also turned out to have significant policy implications, when, as Chair of the Federal Reserve, Ben was one of the policymakers tasked with leading the response to what was the most severe financial crisis in the United States since the Great Depression. His actions then certainly prevented another depression.”
Dr. Bernanke has published many articles on a wide variety of economic issues, including monetary policy, macroeconomics, and economic history, and he is the author of several scholarly books and two textbooks.
Most recently, Dr. Bernanke published “21st Century Monetary Policy: The Federal Reserve from the Great Inflation to COVID-19,” explaining the Fed’s evolution over the past seventy years, showing how changes in the economy have driven the Fed’s innovations. He also lays out new challenges confronting the Fed, including the return of inflation, cryptocurrencies, increased risks of financial instability, and threats to its independence.
From February 2006 through January 2014, he was chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, having been appointed to that position by both Presidents Bush and Obama. In 2017, he published “The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath,” recounting the 2008 financial crisis, providing an insider’s account of the policy response. Dr. Bernanke’s other highly cited works include “Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach,” in the Quarterly Journal of Economics in 2005, and “Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?” in the Journal of Economic Perspectives in 1997.
Dr. Bernanke has held a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Sloan Fellowship, and he is a fellow of the Econometric Society and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as the director of the Monetary Economics Program of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and as a member of the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee. In July 2001, Dr. Bernanke was appointed editor of the American Economic Review, the profession’s leading research journal. His work with civic and professional groups includes having served two terms as a member of the Montgomery Township (N.J.) Board of Education.
Dr. Bernanke was born in December 1953 in Augusta, Georgia, and grew up in Dillon, South Carolina. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1975 from Harvard University (summa cum laude) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics in 1979 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.