The George S. Eccles Prize in Economic Writing

Ben Bernake

Sebastian Mallaby Awarded 2017 Eccles Prize

In “The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan” (2016), Mallaby takes the reader on a journey through the early years of Greenspan’s life to his over 30 years leading the Federal Reserve Bank, and past his retirement to the 2008 housing crisis – where many have pondered whether he foresaw what was coming.

In its review, The Wall Street Journal said, “Despite its nearly 700 pages of text, the book is hard to put down, thanks to Mr. Mallaby's knack for finding just the right example or sparkling quotation to illustrate his points … “The Man Who Knew” is a tour de force, the story not just of Alan Greenspan's career but equally of America's economic triumphs and failures over five decades. This carefully researched and elegantly written book will be essential reading for those who aspire to make policy and for anyone who wants to divine what drives the choices that our leaders make.”


George S. Eccles ’22 initially established the prize at the School over 25 years ago to foster interest in and spur public discussion of economic theory, practice, and issues. Between 1986 and 1993, it was awarded annually to esteemed figures such as Henry Kaufman, Maryann Keller, and Paul Krugman, for their works bridging theory and practice. It was given again in 1998, when Bhagwati, then of MIT, was recognized for his book, Stream of Windows (The MIT Press, 1999).

In 2010, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation inaugurated an annual research award in finance and economics for Columbia Business School faculty members and reestablished the prize for economic writing. In 2013, Paul Tetlock, the Roger F. Murray Associate Professor of Finance, was honored for his research on the impact of investors’ collective attention on stock prices. Also in 2013, Professor Daron Acemoglu of MIT and Professor James A. Robinson of Harvard took the Excellence in Economic Writing Award for their book, Why Nations Fail (Crown Business, 2012); Henry Kissinger received the award in 2012 for his book, Henry Kissinger on China (The Penguin Press HC, 2011).