Robert E. Lucas, Jr. is the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1975. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is a past president of the Econometric Society and the American Economic Association. In 1995, he received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
In announcing the award, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recognized Lucas "for having developed and applied the hypothesis of rational expectations, and thereby having transformed macroeconomic analysis and deepened our understanding of economic policy." The announcement added that "His work has brought about a rapid and revolutionary development: application of the rational expectations hypothesis, emergence of an equilibrium theory of business cycles, insights into the difficulties of using economic policy to control the economy, and possibilities of reliably evaluating economic policy with statistical methods."
Lucas was born in Yakima, Washington in 1937. He was educated in the Seattle public schools, and attended the University of Chicago, where he received a BA in history in 1959 and a PhD in economics in 1964. He was a member of the faculty at Carnegie-Mellon University from 1963 until 1974.
His books include Studies in Business-Cycle Theory (1981), Rational Expectations and Econometric Practice (1981), co-edited with Thomas Sargent, Models of Business Cycles (1985), and Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics (1989), with Nancy Stokey and Edward Prescott. Since 1985, the main focus of Lucas's research has shifted from business cycles and monetary theory to the study of economic growth and development. His Lectures on Economic Growth (2002) collects many of his writings on this topic.