Distinguished political economist and current dean Dean of the School of Social Sciences at Rice University, Antonio Merlo has been named the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of NYU’s Faculty of Arts and Science

Antonio Merlo

NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Provost Katherine Fleming today announced the appointment of Antonio Merlo – a distinguished political economist who is currently Dean of the School of Social Sciences and a chaired economics professor at Rice University, as well as director of the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics – as the Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of NYU’s Faculty of Arts and Science.

Merlo received his Ph.D. from NYU and was previously a member of NYU’s economics and politics faculty. During his years as a graduate student, he launched NYU’s water polo program; in addition to his academic roles at Rice, he has served as head coach of the university’s water polo program.

President Hamilton said, “The Faculty of Arts and Science is NYU’s academic heart. In selecting a dean, we look for an exceptional person. So, we could not be more pleased with Antonio Merlo’s appointment. He’s an active and highly accomplished scholar; an administrator with a record of building academic strength, supporting diversity and academic entrepreneurship, promoting scholarship across schools and departments, and forging partnerships; a believer in the kind of global academic engagement for which NYU is well known; an award-winning coach; and an NYU alumnus. He also impressed us all with his great personal warmth, manifest collegiality, positivity and faith in NYU, and, of course, his first-hand knowledge of the University and FAS.”


Watch the Video: FAS Dean-designate Antonio Merlo reflects on coming back to NYU, how coaching inspires his mindset as a dean, and the two reasons why he's so excited to come back to New York City

“Provost Katy Fleming and I would like to thank the Search Committee and especially its chair, Gloria Coruzzi, the Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Biology, for their hard work and discernment. We are grateful to them for bringing us such an excellent candidate.”

Dean Merlo’s areas of scholarly interest include political economy, policy analysis, public economics, bargaining theory and applications, and empirical microeconomics. His research interests include the economics of crime, voting, the career decisions of politicians, the formation and dissolution of coalition governments, the industrial organization of the political sector, household bargaining, and the study of the residential housing market. He has published numerous articles in the leading economics journals, including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy, and the Review of Economic Studies. In 2018, he authored an innovative political economy textbook for undergraduates, "Political Economy and Policy Analysis" (Routledge). His numerous awards and honors include being elected a Fellow of the Econometric Society; the Pareto Lecture in Economics and Social Sciences; being a Peden Senior Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge; and the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. In addition, he has been the recipient of the Coach of the Year Award for the Collegiate Water Polo Association in 2013 (Men’s Mid-Atlantic Division), 2017 (Women’s Texas Division), and 2018 (Men’s Texas Division).

Prior to his arrival at Rice in 2014, he was on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, which he joined in 2000; he was the Lawrence R. Klein Professor of Economics, the chair of the Economics Department, and the Director of the Penn Institute for Economic Research. From 1998-2000, he was an associate professor of economics and politics at NYU. And from 1992-1998, he was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota as an assistant and later associate professor of economics.

A first-generation college graduate, he received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude in economics and social sciences from Bocconi University of Italy in 1987. He received his Ph.D. in economics from NYU in 1992, where he received the Dean’s Outstanding Dissertation Award. He also received an honorary M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000.

He will take up his duties as the dean of NYU’s Faculty of Arts and Science this summer.

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