Rachel Kranton

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Rachel Kranton
NationalityUnited States
InstitutionDuke University
Economic Theory
Development Economics
School or
Alma materUC Berkeley (Ph.D.)
Princeton University (M.P.A.)
University of Pennsylvania (B.A.)
AwardsFellow Econometric Society Blaise Pascal Chair (2010)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Rachel E. Kranton (born c. 1962) is an American economist and James B. Duke Professor of Economics at Duke University. She is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and 2010 recipient of the Blaise Pascal Chair. She was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association from 2015-2018. Kranton's research focuses on how social institutions affect economic outcomes, and has applications in a variety of fields within economics, such as economic development, international economics, and industrial organization.

More specifically, Kranton studies social networks and develops formal theories of how social networks affect economic behavior,[1] the effects of buyer-seller networks,[2] institutions in colonial India,[3] and reciprocal exchange.[4] By this, she's a major contributor to the emerging new field of economics of networks. She uses formal models of strategic interaction in select economic settings, and draws on these findings through mathematical tools to find how network structures influence economic outcomes. She also focuses on the cost and benefits of networks and informal exchange, which is the economic activity through social relationship.

In a long-term collaboration, Kranton and George Akerlof of University of California, Berkeley introduce social identity into formal economic analysis.[5] Akerlof and Kranton recently published a book, Identity Economics, which provides a comprehensive and accessible discussion of their research.[6] In a review for Science, Robert Sugden writes: "Nonspecialist readers will find a lot of insightful and well-informed analysis of how issues of identity affect real economic problems."[7] Bloomberg lists Identity Economics as one of the top 30 business books of 2010.[8]


Rachel Kranton completed her undergraduate studies in Economics and Middle East Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She then received an M.P.A. in Economics and Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and later her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kranton has held positions at the University of Maryland and Duke University, and received research fellowships at the Russell Sage Foundation and Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study. In 2011–12, Kranton was a visiting professor at the Paris School of Economics. She was announced to take over the position of dean of social sciences at Duke University from July 2018. She was also awarded as a fellow. Econometric society from Duke University in 2012. [9]


Rachel Kranton's research interests is on the effect of institutions and the social setting on economic outcomes. She has made huge influence in the field of Identity Economics and the economics of networks. Her work includes a general framework to study social norms and identity in economics (together with her collaborator George Akerlof) and formal models of strategic interaction in different economic settings. Her publications can be found in the link * Kranton's Duke econ page She has achieved grant for her researches: Social Influences on Financial Decision Making,Networks, Public Goods, And Social Interactions: At The Edge Of Analytics and Complexity and Collabarative Research: CDI-Type I: Innovation in Social Networks.


  1. ^ Yann Bramoullé and Rachel Kranton, "Public Goods in Networks," Journal of Economic Theory 135(1), July 2007, pp. 478–94
       • Yann Bramoullé and Rachel Kranton. (2007), "Risk Sharing Networks," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 64(3–4), 275–94.
  2. ^ Rachel Kranton and Deborah Minehart, "A Theory of Buyer-Seller Networks," American Economic Review 91 (3), June 2001, pp. 485–508.
       • Rachel Kranton and Deborah Minehart, "Competition for Goods in Buyer-Seller Networks," Review of Economic Design, 5 (3), September 2000, pp. 301–31.
  3. ^ Rachel Kranton and Anand Swamy, "Contracts, Hold-Up, and Exports: Textiles and Opium in Colonial India," American Economic Review 98 (3), June 2008, pp. 967–89.
       • "The Hazards of Piecemeal Reform: British Civil Courts and the Credit Market in Colonial India," Rachel Kranton and Anand Swamy, Journal of Development Economics, 58 (1), February 1999, pp. 1–24.
  4. ^ Rachel Kranton, "Reciprocal Exchange: A Self-Sustaining System," American Economic Review, 86 (4), September 1996, pp. 830–51.
  5. ^ Akerlof, G. and R. Kranton, "Economics and Identity," Quarterly Journal of Economics CVX (3), August 2000, pp. 715–53.
       • Akerlof, G. and R. Kranton, "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives 19 (1), Winter 2005, pp. 9–32.
       • Akerlof, G. and R. Kranton, "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, 40 (4), December 2002, pp. 1167–201.
       • Akerlof, G. and R. Kranton, "Identity, Supervision, and Work Groups," American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 98 (2), May 2008, pp. 212–17.
  6. ^ Akerlof, G. and R. Kranton, Identity Economics, Princeton University Press, 2010.
  7. ^ Sugden, Robert (2010), Science 21, Vol. 328 no. 5981, p. 978.
  8. ^ Pressley, James. "Favorite 30 Business Books, From ‘Adam Smith’ to ‘The Zeroes,’" Bloomberg (Nov 15, 2010): online at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-11-16/-voldemort-book-kills-merrill-hellhound-bites-citi-top-business-books.html
  9. ^ "Rachel Kranton named new dean of social sciences". The Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-07-16.

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