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Marianne Bertrand, Luigi Zingales Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 17, 2012

Chicago Booth professors Marianne Bertrand and Luigi Zingales today were elected Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a leading center for independent policy research.

Bertrand is the Chris P. Dialynas Professor of Economics and Zingales is the Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance.

Also elected Fellows today were Jeffrey Bezos, Amazon founder; Robert Iger, Walt Disney Co. president and chief executive; and 216 other leaders in business, science, the humanities, arts and other fields.

“Election to the Academy is both an honor for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve,” Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz said, noting that members contribute to Academy publications and studies. “We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.”

Bertrand and Zingales join nine other Booth faculty who earlier were elected Academy Fellows. They are Professors Gary Becker, Douglas Diamond, Eugene Fama, Robert Fogel, Reid Hastie, Kevin Murphy, Raghuram Rajan, Richard Thaler and Robert Vishny.

Bertrand is an applied microeconomist who has done research on racial discrimination, CEO pay and incentives, the effects of regulation on employment, and household finance, among other topics. Her research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, theJournal of Political Economy, the American Economic Review, the Journal of Finance and several public policy journals.

She received the 2004 Elaine Bennett Research Prize, awarded by the American Economic Association to honor outstanding research in any field of economics by a woman at the beginning of her career. She received an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship in 2003.

Bertrand is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Economic Policy Research and the Institute for the Study of Labor.

She received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Belgium’s Universit Libre de Bruxelles in 1991, followed by a master’s degree in econometrics from the same institution in 1992. She moved to the U.S. in 1993, earned a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard in 1998 and joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 2000 after spending two years teaching at Princeton University.

Zingales studies a wide variety of topics ranging from corporate governance and financial development to the political economy and economic effects of culture. His latest book, “A Capitalism for the People, Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity,” is scheduled to be published June 6.

Zingales co-developed the Financial Trust Index, which monitors the level of trust that Americans have toward the financial system. He is vice president of the American Finance Association, a faculty research fellow for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow for the Center for Economic Policy Research, and a fellow of the European Governance Institute. He also serves on the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.

He received the 2003 Bernacer Prize for the best young European financial economist, the 2002 Nasdaq award for the best paper on capital formation and a National Science Foundation grant in economics. His research has been published in all the major economics and finance academic journals.

Zingales received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universita Bocconi in Italy in 1987 and a Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1992. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1992.

Bertrand, Zingales and the other new Fellows will be inducted at a ceremony Oct. 6, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the 20th century. Current members include more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.