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Posted : 2012-05-28 18:55
Updated : 2012-05-28 18:55

Nobel laureate to teach at SNU


Thomas Sargent
By Na Jeong-ju

Thomas Sargent, an American economist who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2011 together with Christopher Sims, will teach at Seoul National University (SNU) beginning this year.

The school said Monday Sargent, 69, currently a professor of New York University, will teach macroeconomics at SNU as a full-time professor for two years beginning the second semester of this year.

The economist has been serving as an advisor to the Bank of Korea since 2007.

“We are very proud to announce that Sargent has decided to join SNU,” said Park Myung-jin, the school’s vice president of education. “He will teach students as a full-time professor and conduct joint research with SNU faculty on various fields of economics.”

Sargent is expected to receive some 1.5 billion won ($1.27 million) annually, including salaries and research funds.

He is the first Nobel Prize laureate to teach at SNU as a professor. The school said it has set aside some 23 billion won to hire renowned scholars worldwide as part of a plan to become one of the world’s best research-oriented universities.

Sargent won the Nobel Prize, together with Princeton University’s Sims, for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy.

He taught at the University of Minnesota from 1975 to 1987, at the University of Chicago from 1992 to 1998 and at Stanford University from 1998 to 2002 before joining NYU. He has been a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution since 1987.

He earned his B.A. at UC Berkeley in 1964 and his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1968. He specializes in the fields of macroeconomics, monetary economics and time-series econometrics.

Leading Korean universities have invited distinguished foreign scholars, including Nobel Prize laureates, as part of a government-led drive to upgrade the quality of the country’s higher education. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has financed the invitations of world-class scholars by local universities as well as their participation in research projects.

SNU said Charles Lee, a professor of Harvard Medical School, and Kyoungwon Seo, an economics professor from Northwestern University, will also teach at SNU beginning in the second semester of this year.