Dale T. Mortensen (2 February 1939 – 9 January 2014) was an American economist. He received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Life and Career

He was born on 2 February 1939, in Enterprise, Oregon, US. He got his BA in economics from Willamette University. He earned a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1965, he started working at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

He became a professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management in 1980, and he also directed the university’s social sciences program (1982–84, 1992–2000).

He was also a visiting professor at Cornell University, New York University, Aarhus University, and the Soviet Academy of Sciences, and he worked for organizations like the American Economic Association in an editorial or advisory capacity.

His research focuses on labor economics, macroeconomics, and economic theory. He’s known for his work on frictional unemployment search and matching theory. Using these insights, he studied turnover and reallocation of labor, research, development, and relationships.

He was a founding editor of the Review of Economic Dynamics and a past president of the Society for Economic Dynamics.

Dale T. Mortensen passed away on 9 January 2014, aged 74, from stage 4 lung cancer.


He along with Christopher A. Pissarides and Peter A. Diamond won the 2010 Nobel Memorial Prize “for their analysis of markets with search frictions”.

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