William Easterly, a professor in NYU’s Department of Economics, has won the 2013 Adam Smith Award for his research, which has “significantly changed the terms of the debate over the role of government and foreign aid in addressing the problems of poverty and underdevelopment,” said the award’s sponsor, the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE).
APEE pointed to Easterly’s The Elusive Quest for Growth and The White Man's Burden as reflecting “a deep understanding of the role of the entrepreneurial market process in lifting individuals out of poverty and producing a social order of freedom, dignity, peace, and prosperity,” adding that “Easterly is one of the clearest voices in economics today for how the free enterprise system is a catalyst for human betterment.”
Previous Adam Smith Award recipients include Nobel Prize winners James Buchanan, Vernon Smith, Douglass North, and Elinor Ostrom, and other leading economic thinkers such as Armen Alchian, Robert Barro, Harold Demsetz, Allan Meltzer, and Gordon Tullock.
The Adam Smith Award, the highest honor bestowed by APEE, is given to recognize an individual who has made a sustained and lasting contribution to the perpetuation of the ideals of a free market economy as first laid out in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations.
Easterly will be honored on Sunday, April 14th, 2013 at the opening banquet of the annual meetings of APEE in Maui.
Easterly is co-director of NYU’s Development Research Institute and has been named among the top 100 Twitter users in international affairs by Foreign Policy magazine.