James Tobin

James Tobin
James Tobin
(1918 - 2002)


American economist whose contributions to the theoretical formulation of investment behaviour were also of great practical value in understanding financial markets. His work brought him the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1981.
After taking degrees from Harvard University (1939, 1940), Tobin spent 1941-42 as an economist with the Office of Price Administration in Washington, D.C. During World War II he served in the Naval Reserve, rising to second in command of the destroyer USS Kearney. In 1947 Tobin received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and in 1950 he joined the faculty of Yale University, where in 1957 he became Sterling professor of economics. In addition to teaching, he served as director of the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics in 1955-61 and 1964-65.

Tobin's work significantly extended the usefulness of Keynesian economic analysis by greatly clarifying such issues as risk, portfolio management, and the role of financial markets in conveying information about underlying conditions. Among his publications were The American Business Creed (with others, 1961), National Economic Policy (1966), Essays in Economics, 3 vol. (1971-82), and The New Economics One Decade Older (1974).


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