Nancy Stokey is the Frederick Henry Prince Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (elected 2004) as well as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association (2018), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993) and a Fellow of the Econometric Society (1988). From 1996 to 1997, she served as vice president of the American Economic Association. She has also served as an editor of Econometrica and of the Journal of Political Economy, and as a member of the expert panel for the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a think-tank that focuses on the international community’s effort to solve the world’s leading scientific and developmental problems of the twenty-first century.
A prolific and distinguished researcher, Stokey is co-author (with Robert E. Lucas, Jr. and Edward C. Prescott) of the influential monograph Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics (1989), which has provided the mathematical basis for much of modern macroeconomics, and she is author of The Economics of Inaction (2009), which treats models that involve fixed costs of adjustment.
Stokey has contributed to various areas of economics, with the first rigorous proof of the famous Coase conjecture, and as co-developer (with Paul Milgrom) of the No-Trade theorem, a result that presents a fundamental puzzle about information, stock market prices, and the volume of trading. She is also co-developer (with Robert E. Lucas, Jr.) of an aggregate model of dynamic taxation and debt policy that has served as the foundation for much subsequent work in that area. Stokey’s recent work has focused on economic growth, especially on the role of trade and technology transfers in accelerating growth in middle-income countries, and on the interaction between human capital and technology in determining wage patterns and growth rates in developed economies.