Ariel Pakes is the Thomas Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at Harvard University, where he teaches courses in Industrial Organization and Econometrics. He received the Frisch Medal of the Econometric Society in 1986, and was elected as a fellow of that society in 1988. Ariel was elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002 and was the Distinguished Fellow of the Industrial Organization in 2007. In 2017 he received the Jean-Jaques Laffont prize and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He has been on the editorial board of several journals and on a number of NSF, American Academy, and National Academy of Sciences committees. He has also been the chair of the AEA Census Advisory Panel.
Ariel’s research has focused on developing methods for empirically analyzing market responses to environmental and policy changes. This includes; i) developing demand systems that are capable of analyzing the impact of environmental changes (e.g. mergers) on prices, ii) developing methods capable of analyzing the impact of policy changes (e.g. tariff changes) on productivity, and iii) developing models capable of following the impacts of these changes on the evolution of markets over time. He and his co-authors have applied these tools to the analysis of the auto, health care, and telecommunications equipment industries. Ariel also developed techniques for constructing a more accurate Consumer Price Index and analyzing the impact of incentive schemes on the hospital allocations of doctors.
Ariel has mentored over fifty doctoral students, many of whom are now leading researchers at prestigious institutions. Additionally, Pakes has done work for a number of consultancies, government agencies, and large firms. Much of his methodological work has been incorporated into the way government agencies evaluate the likely impact of policy changes.