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Two Endowed Chairs in Economics

Andrew Postlewaite

SAS Dean Samuel Preston, announced two new endowed chair appointments in the Department of Economics.

Kenneth Wolpin

Dr. Andrew Postlewaite, professor of economics and finance, has been appointed the inaugural Harry P. Kamen Professor.

Dr. Kenneth I. Wolpin, professor of economics, has been appointed to the Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professorship in the Social Sciences.

Dr. Postlewaite came to Penn in 1980 and chaired the economics department from 1982 to 1987 and 1991 to 1996. He completed his B.A. at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1965, his M.S. at DePaul University in 1969, and his Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 1974.

Before coming to Penn, Dr. Postlewaite taught at the University of Illinois. He has served as visiting professor at Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California at San Diego, and Caltech. He has been a research fellow at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics in Louvain, Belgium, the STICERD Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics in 1999, and has been a visiting scholar at many international universities and institutes, including Tel Aviv University, University of Bonn in Germany, European University in Florence, Italy, and Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

A fellow of the Econometric Society and a recipient of numerous NSF grants and a Sloan Foundation grant, Dr. Postlewaite's research and teaching focus on microeconomic theory and public economics.

Dr. Postlewaite has published over 40 articles in refereed journals. Recent papers include "Social Arrangements and Economic Behavior," published in Annales d' Economie et de Statistique in 2001, "Efficient Non-Contractible Investments in Large Economies" (with Penn economics professor George J. Mailath and Harold L. Cole, professor of economics , UCLA) published in Journal of Economic Theory in 2001, and "Informational Size and Incentive Compatibility," (with Richard McLean, professor of economics, Rutgers University) published in Econometrica in 2002. Forthcoming papers include "Ambiguity in Election Games" for the Review of Economic Design and "Information Size and Efficient Auctions," to be published in the Review of Economic Studies.

Dr. Postlewaite is currently co-editor of Econometrica, director of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Council of the Econometric Society. He is former editor of the International Economic Review.

Harry P. Kamen, Esq., C'54, is retired chairman of the board and CEO of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. He earned his BA in economics at Penn and his J.D. from Harvard. A longtime Penn supporter, Mr. Kamen has served as an SAS Overseer since 1993 and established the Harry P. and Barbara Kamen Endowed Scholarship in 1998, which provides financial aid to SAS undergraduates. The Chair was established in 2001.

Dr. Wolpin, the new Annenberg Professor, completed his undergraduate work and his Ph.D. at CUNY in 1967 and 1974, respectively. A specialist in labor economics and economic demography, Dr. Wolpin is chair of the economics department and was director of Penn's Institute for Economic Research from 1995 to 1999. He is also a research associate with Penn's Population Studies Center.

Dr.  Wolpin came to Penn in 1995 from NYU where he had served as professor since 1992. He also has held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota, Yale, and Ohio State University, where he directed the Center for Human Resource Research and was the Principle Investigator for the National Longitudinal Surveys, one of the most widely used longitudinal surveys in the social sciences. Dr. Wolpin began his career as a high school math teacher in New York City.

Dr. Wolpin has pioneered new methods for the study of labor markets, human capital, and social policy. His research has won numerous grants from the NIH and the NSF.

Dr. Wolpin has authored nearly 50 articles in major economics journals, including most recently "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," "Sisters, Siblings, and Mothers: The Effects of Teenage Childbearing on Birth Outcomes," both published in Econometrica, and "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," published in the International Economic Review. He is currently collaborating with Dr. Petra Todd, associate professor of economics here, on an NSF funded project, Using Experimental Data to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility: Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico.

The Hon. Leonore Annenberg is an emeritus trustee of the University, as was her late husband, the Hon. Walter H. Annenberg. As supporters of Penn and patrons of education across the U.S., they have endowed many chairs in SAS and have made countless contributions to Penn, including the creation of several professorships and the founding of the Annenberg School for Communication in 1958.


  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 18, January 21, 2003