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. He was elected as a fellow of that society in 1988, of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002, and of the National Academy of Sciences in 2017. Ariel was the Distinguished Fellow of the Industrial Organization in 2007. In 2017 he received the Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize and in 2018 the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award. In 2019 Ariel was appointed a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association.
Ariel’s research has focused on developing methods for empirically analyzing market responses to environmental and policy changes. This includes developing: i) demand systems that are capable of analyzing the impact of environmental changes (e.g. mergers) on prices, ii) methods capable of analyzing the impact of policy changes (e.g. deregulation) on productivity, and iii) 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, electricity, health care, and telecommunications equipment industries. Ariel also developed techniques for: analyzing the impacts of privately funded research and development activity, for constructing a more accurate Consumer Price Index, and for analyzing the impact of incentive schemes on the hospital allocations of doctors.
Many of Ariel’s methodological contributions have been incorporated into the work of government agencies and private firms. Ariel has mentored over sixty doctoral students, many of whom are now leading researchers at prestigious universities. Additionally, he has done work for a number of consultancies, government agencies, and large firms.
Ariel is married with two children and a granddaughter. They all enjoy hiking, jazz, and watching the NBA.