Edmund Strother Phelps born in 1933 in Evanston Illinois is an American professor of economics at Columbia University, who was awarded the 2006 The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, commonly known as the Nobel Prize in Economics. He is renowned for his work on economic growth at Yale’s Cowles Foundation in the 1960s, in particular the idea of the Golden Rule savings rate, which deals with how much should be spent today versus how much should be saved for future generations. His most seminal work is probably the introduction of expectations-based microfoundations into the theory of employment determination and price-wage dynamics, leading to his theory of the natural rate of unemployment – its existence, how its size is determined and how market forces may drive unemployment from it.
Phelps has been the McVickar Professor of Political Economy at Columbia University since 1982. He is also the director of Columbia’s Center on Capitalism and Society.
He was awarded the Nobel in an announcement made on 9 October 2006. He received the award on his own, breaking the recent pattern of awarding the prize jointly to two or more winners.