Robert Townsend

Robert Townsend is the Elizabeth & James Killian Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. Professor Townsend holds numerous other positions, including Distinguished Fellow of the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago, Faculty Affiliate of the MIT Center for Finance and Policy, and First Vice-President of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory. He earned his B.A. from Duke University and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Professor Townsend’s interests include, more generally, the analysis of economic organization and financial systems through the use of microdata and applied general equilibrium models. Specifically, he has researched economic development, financial systems, costly state verification, revelation principle, optimal multi-period contracts, decentralization of economies with private information, models of money with spatially separated agents, forecasting the forecasts of others, and insurance and credit in developing countries.

Representative Publications

“An Evaluation of Financial Institutions: Impact on Consumption and Investment Using Panel Data and the Theory of Risk-Bearing.” Mauro Alem and Robert M. Townsend. Journal of Econometrics, 183(1) 2014: 91-103

“The Geographic Concentration of Enterprise in Developing Countries,” John Felkner and Robert M. Townsend. Quarterly Journal of Economics 126 (4), 2011: 2005-2061

“Financial Structure and Economic Welfare: Applied General Equilibrium Development Economics.” Robert M. Townsend. Annual Review of Economics. Ed. Kenneth Arrow and Timothy Bresnahan. Vol. 2, 2010: 507-546

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