Robert M. Townsend

Robert M. Townsend  is the Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at MIT, an Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a theorist, macroeconomist, and development economist who analyses the role and impact of economic organization and financial systems through applied general equilibrium models, contract theory and the use of micro data. He is known for his seminal work on costly state verification, the revelation principle, optimal multi-period contracts, decentralization of economies with private information, models of money with spatially separated agents, forecasting the forecasts of others, and insurance and credit in developing countries. He is the author of Financial Structure and Economic Organization (1990), The Medieval Village Economy (1993), Households as Corporate Firms (2010) with Krislert Samphantharak, Financial Systems in Developing Economies (2011), Chronicles from the Field (2013) with Sombat Sakuntasathien and Rob Jordan, and numerous professional articles in leading journals. He is twice the recipient of the Frisch Medal, first in 1998 and then in 2012.