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Franco Modigliani

Born: 18-Jun-1918
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 25-Sep-2003
Location of death: Cambridge, MA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Economist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Life-cycle theory

Jewish by heredity, Franco Modigliani fled fascist Italy as World War II began, and became an American citizen in 1946. Working with Merton H. Miller, he developed the Modigliani-Miller theorem of corporate finance, which states that after accounting for taxes, bankruptcy expenses, and asymmetric information, a company's value is generally unaffected by how the firm is financed. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1985, primarily in recognition of his life-cycle theory of personal savings -- the seemingly obvious but never before explained notion that people tend to borrow as young adults, accumulate savings in their middle years, and spend what they have saved after retirement. He also conducted research into financial markets and pension and retirement systems. He frequently played tennis with fellow Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson, and he was active for many years in peace activism with the American Friends Service Committee.

Father: Enrico Modigliani (physician, d. 1932)
Mother: Olga Flaschel Modigliani (social worker)
Wife: Serena Calabi Modigliani (m. 1939, two sons)
Son: Andre Modigliani (sociologist)
Son: Sergio Modigliani (architect)

    High School: Liceo Visconti, Rome Italy (1935)
    University: PhD Economics, University of Rome (1939)
    University: Sorbonne (attended)
    Teacher: Economics and statistics, Columbia University (1942-44)
    Teacher: World Affairs, New School for Social Research (1944-48)
    Scholar: Economics, University of Chicago (1948-50)
    Scholar: Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1950-52)
    Professor: Economics, Carnegie Mellon University (1952-60)
    Professor: Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1960-61)
    Professor: Economics, Northwestern University (1961-62)
    Professor: Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1962-88)

    Nobel Prize for Economics 1985
    Naturalized US Citizen 1946
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Economic Association
    American Finance Association
    American Friends Service Committee
    Econometric Society
    National Academy of Sciences

Official Website:

Author of books:
The Debate over Stabilization Policy (1986)
Capital Markets: Institutions and Instruments (1996, with Frank J Fabozzi)
Adventures of an Economist (2001, memoirs)

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