March 17, 2014
Economist Stanley Fischer tapped for $100K SIEPR award
Economist Stanley Fischer received the SIEPR Prize for Contributions to Economic Policy. He is the former governor of the Bank of Israel and is now awaiting confirmation as the vice chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.
By Clifton B. Parker
Stanley Fischer (Photo: Sasson Tiram)
This year's winner of the SIEPR Prize for Contributions to Economic Policy is Stanley Fischer.
The economist was recognized for his lifetime accomplishments in being chosen for the $100,000 award given by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research on March 14.
Fischer, a former Bank of Israel president, has been nominated by the White House for the Federal Reserve's No. 2 job as vice chairman. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he will fill the vacancy left when Janet L. Yellen rose from that position to lead the central bank. On Thursday Fischer appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for his confirmation hearing.
Prior to his eight-year stint at the Bank of Israel, Fischer served as the vice chairman of Citigroup, the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and MIT, and chief economist at the World Bank.
SIEPR Director John B. Shoven praised Fischer for his long-running influence on economic policy. The award was given to the economist at the SIEPR Economic Summit on campus Friday.
"I think Stan is a perfect choice for this prize. His thoughtful leadership has helped the global economy navigate through challenging times from his positions at the World Bank, the IMF and the Bank of Israel," said Shoven.
He added that Fischer taught many students who went on to become influential economic policy leaders themselves – Ben Bernanke, Mario Draghi and Greg Mankiw, among them.
"He is a constant source of ideas on how to improve the functioning of the economy," said Shoven.
In an email interview, Fischer described the beginnings of his career in Washington, D.C., policy-making circles.
Fischer: "I got my start in serious policy work in 1984-85, as a member of the advisory group on the Israeli economy to George Shultz, then secretary of state. I learned a great deal from that experience, particularly from Secretary Shultz and from Herb Stein, the senior member of the two-person advisory group – I was the other member."
Due to his Federal Reserve nomination status, he could not speak about the economy. If not for the nomination, he said, "I would have been delighted to oblige."
In 2010 and for 2012, the SIEPR prizes were awarded to Paul Volcker and Marty Feldstein. Fischer's award was announced at the annual SIEPR Economic Summit, now in its 11th year, which included discussion and debate among academic, corporate and policy experts.
The idea for the SIEPR Prize and its initial funding came from George P. Shultz, honorary chairman of SIEPR and a former U.S. secretary of treasury, labor and state.
The selection committee that chose Fischer consisted of Shultz; Jim Poterba (president of the National Bureau of Economic Research); Shoven (director of SIEPR); and Kenneth Arrow and Gary Becker, both Nobel laureates in economics.
SIEPR is a non-partisan economic policy research organization at Stanford University.