Rice University President David Leebron and Provost George McLendon today announced the appointment of renowned economist Antonio Merlo as chair of Rice University’s Department of Economics and director of the Rice Economics Initiative, a new multiyear plan to enhance economics research and teaching at Rice. Merlo has also been named the George A. Peterkin Professor of Economics. The appointments are effective July 1.

Merlo is a political economist who currently serves as director for the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Institute for Economic Research and the Lawrence R. Klein Professor of Economics, a professorship named for the late Nobel laureate economist and longtime Penn professor.

The first member of his family to attend college, Merlo graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Italy’s Bocconi University and received a Ph.D. in economics from New York University. Before joining the economics faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000, Merlo taught at the University of Minnesota and New York University; he has held numerous visiting positions throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Merlo has published numerous articles in the profession’s leading journals, including the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Journal of Political Economy and the Journal of Economic Theory. He is an elected fellow of the Econometric Society. He also serves as a research fellow of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

About Rice University  

Rice University is a private research university and is now a preeminent research university with a distinct undergraduate focus. Its emphasis on education is demonstrated by a small student body and 5:1 student-faculty ratio, among the lowest in the top American universities including the Ivy League.