Background and Education
In 1970 Geanakoplos won the United States Junior Open Chess Championship. He received his B.A. in mathematics from Yale University in 1975 (summa cum laude), and his M.A. in mathematics and his Ph.D. in economics under Kenneth Arrow and Jerry Green from Harvard University in 1980. In 1980 he became an assistant professor of economics at Yale University, rising to associate professor in 1983, full professor in 1986, and the James Tobin Professor of Economics in 1994.
In 1996-2005 Geanakoplos was director of the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics. He was a co-founder in 2002, and is still currently co-director, of the Hellenic Studies Program at Yale. He was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society in 1990, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999. He was awarded the Samuelson Prize in 1999, and was awarded the first Bodossaki Prize in economics in 1994 for the best economist of Greek heritage under 40. In 1990-1991 and again in 1999-2000 he directed the economics program at the Santa Fe Institute, where he remains an external professor and chairman of the science steering committee. In 2009-2010 he testified before Congress and before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He spent terms as visiting professor at MSRI in the University of California, Berkeley, at Churchill College, Cambridge, at the University of Pennsylvania, at Harvard, at Stanford, and at MIT. In 1990-1994 he was a managing director of fixed income research at Kidder, Peabody & Co. He was a founding partner in 1995 of Ellington Capital Management, and remains a partner.
Geanakoplos' papers in the 1980s with Paul Klemperer and Jeremy Bulow developed the concept and invented the terminology of Strategic Complements that is now commonly used in game theory, industrial organization and elsewhere.
Before the Late-2000s financial crisis, Geanakoplos was known primarily for his contributions to General equilibrium theory, particularly Incomplete markets in general equilibrium theory. Geanakoplos and Polemarchakis (1986), for example, establishes key existence and welfare results in a general incomplete markets model.
Since the onset of the Late-2000s financial crisis, Geanakoplos' work on the relationship between leverage and asset prices, "The Leverage Cycle," has been prominent in both popular and academic discussions of financial market fluctuations and regulation.
Yale University published Geanakoplos' Financial Theory lecture in the Yale Open Courses series.
John Genakoplos, Paul Klemperer, and Jeremy I. Bulow, Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements, Journal of Political Economy 1985, 93, 488 511.
- Geanakoplos, J.D. and H.M. Polemarchakis, 1986, Existence, regularity and constrained suboptimality of competitive allocations when the asset structure is incomplete, in: W.P. Hell&, R.M: Starr and D.A. Starrett, eds., Uncertainty, information and communication: Essays in honor of K.J. Arrow. Vol. 3 (Cambridge Universitv Press, New York) 65-95.
- Geanakoplos, J. (2010) "The Leverage Cycle", in D.Acemoglu, K. Rogoff, and M. Woodford (eds.), NBER Macro-economics Annual 2009, vol. 24, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2010, pp. 1-65.