Torsten Persson


Prof. Dr. Torsten Persson


Council Member



Torsten Persson is Professor of economics, and a former Director at the IIES of Stockholm University. He is also a Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics, and has held visiting positions at leading universities as Harvard, Princeton and Berkeley.  Persson is a Research Associate of the CEPR and the NBER and a Co-Director of CIFAR’s program of Institutions, Organizations and Growth. He is a member of five Academies, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, the British Academy, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Persson was elected President of the Econometric Society (in 2008), and President of the European Economic Association (in 2003). His scientific distinctions include the 1997 Yrjö Jahnsson Medal, given biannually to “the best young economist in Europe”, and Honorary Doctorates at Aalto University and the University of Mannheim.

Persson’s scientific work has spanned different areas of economics, but he is most well-known for his many articles and books on political economics, including Political Economics (with G.Tabellini), The Economic Effects of Constitutions (with G. Tabellini), and Pillars of Prosperity: The Political economics of Development Clusters (with T. Besley). His current research focuses on development, political violence, the politics of representation, individual vs. social motives of behavior, and climate change.

With regard to the Nobel community, Persson has served in several capacities on the Prize Committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel. Thus he was Secretary of the Committee in 1993-2001, Member in 1995-2004 and 2011-2013, Chairman in 2002-2004, and was reappointed as Secretary in 2014.