Istanbul-born Armenian economist Daron Acemoglu has topped the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) ranking of the world’s most influential economists. The ranking is based on the research of more than 2,000 economists over the last 10 years.
Acemoglu is the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was born in Istanbul to an Armenian family. His father Kevork was a lawyer and lecturer at the University of Istanbul, and his mother Irma was a principal and teacher at an Armenian middle school in Istanbul.
Acemoglu received a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of York, a master of science in mathematical economics and econometrics, and a Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics (LSE). He is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the inaugural T.W. Schulz Prize.
Acemoglu was a lecturer in economics at the LSE from 1992-93, before becoming a faculty member at MIT in 1993. In 2000 he was promoted to full professor, and in 2004 was named the Charles P. Kindleberger Professor of Applied Economics. Acemoglu is a member of the Economic Growth program of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research, the co-editor of “Econometrica, Review of Economics and Statistics,” and associate editor of the “Journal of Economic Growth.” He is also an editorial committee board member of the “Annual Review of Economics.” In 2006, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Acemoglu was one of several scholars, artists, and writers from Turkey who in 2014 condemned the widespread anti-Armenian rhetoric in primary and middle school Turkish textbooks, and demanded that the books be pulled from circulation. That same year, several reports indicated that Acemoglu had been offered an ambassadorial posting from the Turkish government. In an interview with Turkey’s Hürriyet newspaper in 2014, he stated, “I do not intend to be part of bureaucracy or enter politics.”