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Faculty Insights

WSB’s Randall Wright Awarded WARF Named Professorship

By Wisconsin School of Business | Photography by Paul L. Newby II

June 9, 2021

Professor Randall Wright

Randall Wright, the Ray B. Zemon Chair in Liquid Assets, the Kenneth Burdett Professor of Finance, and a professor of finance, investment, and banking at the Wisconsin School of Business, is a recipient of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Named Professorship award. He is one of only eight University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty members honored with the designation.

The award recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions in their respective fields as well as in teaching and service activities. Each appointment includes $100,000 and awardees will select the names to be connected with their professorships.

Wright, who holds a dual appointment as a professor in UW–Madison’s Department of Economics, is acclaimed for his work in monetary, macro, and labor economics.

“While the number of papers he has published in the very top research outlets is staggering, what truly sets Randy apart is the quality and impact of what he writes,” says Erwan Quintin, chair of WSB’s Department of Finance, Investment, and Banking and the Nathan S. Brand Distinguished Chair in Finance. “Two of his publications have started prolific and highly cited literatures—literatures in which Randy is among the undisputed pioneers and leaders.”

Quintin says Wright was instrumental early on in his career in the building of what’s known as the “real business cycle” revolution in macroeconomics. “By insisting that monetary economics and, by extension, all of macroeconomics, always be grounded in solid micro-foundations—fundamental descriptions of decision makers’ objectives and opportunities—Randy pushes our entire profession to be better scholars. His impact is also measured in the number of co-authors he has had over the years. He has the highest degree of centrality I know of in our field.”

Wright is currently a consultant for the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and Chicago and is a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory, and a senior fellow of the Cato Institute. He has served on the editorial boards of leading economic journals.

Wright previously held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, and was a national fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He received his BA in economics from the University of Manitoba and his PhD in economics from the University of Minnesota. He also holds an honorary MA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Wright is also a past recipient of WSB’s Erwin A. Gaumnitz Distinguished Research Award.

Seminal research from Wright includes:

On Money as a Medium of Exchange

A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis