Thomas J. Sargent is an American economist and Professor of Economics at New York University. He specializes in the fields of macroeconomics, monetary economics and time series econometrics.
He was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economics, shared with Princeton University’s colleague Christopher Sims, “for their empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy.” In his Nobel speech in Stockholm he described himself as someone who aspires to use statistics and economic theory to understand how governments and markets can improve peoples’ lives. Sargent is one of the leaders of the "rational expectations revolution," which argues that the people being modeled by economists can predict the future, or the probability of future outcomes, at least as well as the economist can with his model.
In 2011, he was awarded the NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing from the National Academy of Sciences and, in September, he became the recipient of the 2011 CME Group-MSRI Prize in Innovative Quantitative Applications.
Sargent is known as a devoted teacher. Among his PhD advisees are men and women at the forefront of macroeconomic research. Sargent's reading group at Stanford and NYU is a famous institution among graduate students in economics.
As of 2014, he ranks fourteenth among the most cited economists in the world.
In 2016, Sargent helped found the non-profit QuantEcon project, which is dedicated to the development and documentation of modern open source computational tools for economics, econometrics, and decision making.
He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, winning the medal as the university’s most distinguished scholar in the Class of 1964, and obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1968.
He has been Professor of Economics at the University of Minnesota, the David Rockefeller Professor at the University of Chicago, and the Donald Lucas Professor of Economics at Stanford University.
He has been a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution since 1987. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Econometric Society. He has been President of the American Economic Association, the Econometric Society, and the Society for Economic Dynamics.