University of Maryland Economics Professor John Wallis has been named the second Mancur Olson Professor of Economics. The appointment is for a term of five years and carries with it an annual research fund.
The Mancur Olson Professorship is a prestigious title awarded to a leading scholar with expertise in institutions and markets and their influence on the global economy. Professor Wallis is an economic historian who specializes in the public finance of American governments, constitutional development, and, more generally, in the institutional development of governments and economies. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington in 1981. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Chicago, he joined the University of Maryland Department of Economics in 1983. He has been a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1989 and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research since 2015.
In addition to numerous articles, Professor Wallis published Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History with Douglass C. North and Barry R. Weingast. He has edited several other books, including the 2017 Organizations, Civil Society and the Roots of Development with Naomi Lamoreaux.
The Mancur Olson Professorship honors Mancur Olson, who came to the University of Maryland in 1967 and served as a Distinguished University Professor until his death in 1998. Mancur is widely regarded as one of the most influential political economists of the late twentieth century. His best known works, The Logic of Collective Action and The Rise and Decline of Nations, have each been translated into 10 languages. On campus, Mancur played an integral role in the creation of the University’s IRIS Center. Widely respected in his field, Mancur is also honored by the American Political Science Association, which gives an Olson Award annually for the best Ph.D. dissertation in Political Economy.