Franco Modigliani

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Franco Modigliani <tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align: center;">Image:Modigliani 1.gif
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Born June 10, 1918
Rome

<tr><th>Died</th><td>September 25, 2003
Cambridge, Massachusetts</td></tr><tr><th>Residence</th><td>USA Image:Flag of the United States.svg</td></tr><tr><th>Field</th><td>Finance</td></tr><tr><th>Institution</th><td>Massachusetts Institute of Technology</td></tr><tr><th>Academic Advisor</th><td>Jacob Marschak</td></tr><tr><th>Known for</th><td>Modigliani-Miller theorem</td></tr><tr><th>Notable Prizes</th><td>Nobel Prize in Economics (1985)</td></tr>

Franco Modigliani (June 18, 1918September 25, 2003) was an Italian-American economist at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1985.

Born in Italy, he left Italy for the US in 1939 because of his Jewish background and antifascist views. In 1944 he obtained his Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research working under Jacob Marschak. In 1946, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

When he was a professor at the Graduate School of Industrial Administration of Carnegie Mellon University in the 1950s and early 1960s, Modigliani made two path-breaking contributions to economic science:

  • He was also the originator of the life-cycle hypothesis, which attempts to explain the level of saving in the economy. Modigliani proposed that consumers would aim for a stable level of income throughout their lifetime, for example by saving during their working years and spending during their retirement.

In 1962, he joined the faculty at MIT, where he stayed until his death. Among his students was Nobel laureate Robert Merton, the 1997 winner.

Modigliani also co-authored the textbooks, "Foundations of Financial Markets and Institutions" and "Capital Markets: Institutions and Instruments" with Frank J. Fabozzi of Yale School of Management.

Active until the end, Modigliani enlisted fellow Nobel laureates Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow in 2003 to write a letter published in the New York Times chiding the Anti-Defamation League for honoring Italy's prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Berlusconi had recently defended Mussolini's conduct toward Jews during World War II.


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Franco Modigliani

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