Global Economy Prize Laureate 2015

Sir Christopher A. Pissarides

Christopher Antoniou Pissarides, born 20 February 1948 in Cyprus, is a Cypriot British economist. He is professor of economics and politics at the London School of Economics (LSE). He is particularly interested in researching unemployment. In 2010 has been co-recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his research work on the economic problems of job hunting – i.e. the analysis of frictional markets. His fellow laureates for the prize have been Peter Diamond and Dale Mortensen.

Christopher Pissarides started his academic career at the University of Essex where he studied economics from 1967 until 1971. He took his PhD at the London School of Economics; his thesis is entitled “Individual Behaviour in Markets with Imperfect Information”. After a short period working at the Central Bank of Cyprus, Pissarides became assistant professor for economics at the University of Southampton before he moved back to the London School of Economics.  Over the next few years he was promoted from “assistant” to “full” professor for economics. Since 1994 he has been doing research at the London Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and at the Institut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, too. Furthermore he has been a guest professor at a number of prestigious US universities and research institutes, like Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, Yale and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Pissarides researches on the interdependencies of the labor market and the macro economy, focusing especially on the interaction between unemployment and employment policy. This range of topics has been called “search and matching theory”. It is especially relevant on those markets where searching plays an important role, namely on imperfect markets ridden with lack of information, uncertainties and frictions. Further possible applications are real estate markets and marriage markets. Pissarides’ most influential publication is said to be „Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment“, (with Dale Mortensen, Review of Economic Studies, 1994). The model presented in this article became widely used in labor market analysis.

Pissarides has been awarded with numerous further awards, as for instance the IZA Prize in Labour Economics in 2005 (with Dale Mortensen), the Republic of Cyprus Aristeion for the Arts, Literature and Sciences (2008), the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse of the Trinity College, Dublin (2012). He became foreign member of honor of the American Economic Association; since 2005 he serves as a board member of the European Economic Association and as its president since 2011.

In 2013 Pissarides was named a Knight Bachelor by Queen Elizabeth II and since is properly called “Sir Christopher”.