Lawrence R. Klein

Nobel Prize Laureate and Benjamin Franklin Professor of Economics and Finance, University of Pennsylvania

Lawrence Klein, a pioneer in the field of macroeconometric modeling and applied econometrics, fathered the LINK model to fuse econometrics and government policies in the 1960s. The first person to actually apply linking econometrics to the real world, Klein won the 1980 Nobel Prize in Economics for his LINK project which he has since donated to the United Nations. LINK integrates econometric models from about 80 countries for applied forecasting. In addition to countless applications at the national, regional, and state levels, countries worldwide benefit from the LINK project, the only worldwide economic information system in use today.

Devoted to his teaching, Klein has donated his time and expertise to many corporations in return for their financial support of graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere around the world. In appreciation of his dedication, a group of almost 200 students and colleagues who call themselves “Friends of Larry Klein” meet to discuss economic theory and publish books dedicated to their untiring mentor.

Klein’s efforts with large-scale modeling have had a profound global influence, while his personal ethics have had a similar effect on his friends and colleagues. A deep belief in teamwork, a sense of individual responsibility, persistence in seeking out details, gracious generosity, and devotion to his family are the characteristics of the man and his life.

Klein is the recipient of 26 honorary doctoral degrees and is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Association of Business Economics; the New York Academy of Science, and the British Academy. He is also a member of the American Philosophical Society and National Academy of Sciences.

Lawrence Klein retired from full-time active teaching at the Wharton School of Business in 1991. He remained the Benjamin Franklin Professor Emeritus of Economics and Finance, teaching classes in Japan on a limited basis. The Lawrence R. Klein Prize for Outstanding Research in Economics by an Undergraduate is awarded annually by the Penn Institute for Economic Research, while the Lawrence R. Klein Award for economic forecasting accuracy is awarded annually from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Klein passed away on October 20, 2013, at age 93.