Harold Demsetz, a professor emeritus of economics at UCLA who is known for his groundbreaking research on the employee–employer relationship, has been selected as a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association (AEA).
"Demsetz is one of the most creative and deep microeconomist’s of the 20th century," according to a statement by association officials. "Several of his contributions anticipated subsequent research by years or even decades, and have offered unusually insightful analyses of fundamental problems of economic theory."
Demsetz is known for his pioneering attacks on the doctrines of market concentration and natural monopoly. In studies published between 1968 and 1973, he argued that prices in highly concentrated markets can be fully competitive. This work introduced an "efficient market structure" theory that explained structure and profit rates by the comparative efficiencies of firms.
The economist has also been credited with being the first proponent of emissions trading as a way of giving polluters an economic incentive to reduce their emissions of pollutants. He also has been active in bringing an economic perspective to the legal field.
The AEA publishes the American Economic Review, one of the most prestigious academic journals in economics. Fourteen winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics, including UCLA professor emeritus of economics and mathematics Lloyd Shapley, have been named AEA Fellows.