Marc Leon Nerlove
Born (1933-10-12) October 12, 1933 (age 90)
Years active1956–2016
Academic career
FieldAgricultural economics, econometrics
Alma mater
Carl Christ
AwardsJohn Bates Clark Medal (1969)
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Marc Leon Nerlove (born 12 October 1933) is an American agricultural economist and econometrician and a distinguished university professor emeritus in agricultural and resource economics at the University of Maryland.[1] He was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association (AEA) in 1969[2] and held appointments at eight different universities from 1958–2016. The Clark Medal is awarded to an economist under the age of 40 who “is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge”,[3] and when the AEA appointed him as a distinguished fellow in 2012, they cited his development of widely used econometric methods across a range of subjects, including supply and demand, time series analysis, production functions, panel analysis, and family demography.[4]

A widely known contribution by Nerlove in econometrics is the estimator for the random effects model in panel data analysis, which is implemented in most econometric software packages.[5]

Personal life

Marc Leon Nerlove was born on 12 October 1933 in Chicago, Illinois to Dr. S. H. (Samuel Henry; 1902–1972) and Evelyn (1907–1987) Nerlove. S. H. Nerlove was born in Vitebsk, Russia (now Belarus) and brought to the US by his parents in 1904 and became a professor of business economics at the University of Chicago (c. 1922–1965) then the University of California, Los Angeles (1962–1969).[6] Evelyn Nerlove was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and worked at the University of Chicago hospital and taught in the School of Social Service Administration until a university nepotism policy forced her to resign after their marriage in 1932 (although she “returned to her profession” in the 1950s).[7] S. H. and Evelyn Nerlove had two other children: Harriet Nerlove (c. 1937–2019), who became a clinical psychologist at Stanford University then in New York City,[8] and Sara “Sally” Nerlove (born c. 1942), who became an anthropologist before spending most of her working life as a program officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF).[9]

Nerlove credits his father for his interest in economics. In addition to being a business economist at Chicago and an early member of the Econometric Society, S. H. Nerlove “inadvertently” became the trustee of Security Life Insurance Company of America Trust (a large, bankrupt midwestern life insurance company) in 1933 during the Great Depression. This company “held mostly foreclosed farm mortgages,” with the farms now being “operated by their former owners as tenants”.[7] S. H. would share stories around the dinner table of his visits to these farms, since the family did not have one of their own in Hyde Park.

Nerlove married Mary Ellen Lieberman (d. 2011) in the 1950s and they had two daughters, Susan Nerlove (born c. 1958) and Miriam Nerlove (born c. 1960).[10] Miriam Nerlove become an author and illustrator of children’s books, including Who Is David with Evelyn Nerlove in 1985.[11] Marc and Mary Ellen Nerlove divorced in the 1970s, then he married Dr. Anke Meyer (born 1955), a German environmental economist who spent 23 years at the World Bank (1991–2014) and collaborated with him on some of his writings during this time.


Nerlove attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools from 1939-49, earned a BA with honors in mathematics and general honors in 1952, and was a research assistant at the Cowles Commission for Research in Economics in 1953. He then earned a MA in 1955 and a PhD in economics with distinction in 1956 from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU), where his dissertation was supervised by Carl Christ. Nerlove’s other teachers included Milton Friedman, Theodore Schultz, Ta-Chung Liu, Fritz Machlup, and Jacob Marschak.

Nerlove's MA thesis is The Predictive Test as a Tool for Research: The Demand for Meat in the United States[12] and his PhD dissertation is Estimates of the Elasticities of Supply of Corn, Cotton, and Wheat,[13] which was expanded and published in 1958 as The Dynamics of Supply: Estimation of Farmers' Response to Price.[14][15]


Nerlove’s teaching career began in 1958 as a visiting lecturer then lecturer at JHU before being appointed to his first professorship in 1959 at the University of Minnesota. From there, he made stops at Stanford University (1960–1965), Yale University (1965–1969), the University of Chicago (1969–1975), Northwestern University (1974–1982), and the University of Pennsylvania (1982–1993) before retiring from the University of Maryland (1993–2016).[16] He also held many visiting appointments, including at Harvard University (1967–1968), four universities and research centers in Germany (University of Mannheim (1968), University of Bonn (1989), Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (1997), and IZA Institute of Labor Economics (2002)[17]), the University of British Columbia (1971), Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil (1974–1978), and Australian National University (1982).

Other employment

Nerlove’s employment history also includes federal service. First, as an Analytical Statistician in the Agricultural Marketing Service at the United States Department of Agriculture (1956–1957), then, as a Lieutenant in the United States Army (1957–1959); he was drafted in 1957 then on loan from the Chemical Corps to the (US) Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly in 1958 as an economist at the request of Chairman Estes Kefauver.[18] In addition, Nerlove consulted for the RAND Corporation (1959–1989), Southern Pacific Company (1961), (US) President's Committee to Appraise Employment and Unemployment Statistics (1962),[19] World Bank (1979–1985), and International Food Policy Research Institute (1981–1986).

Professional service

Nerlove's history of professional service includes the Econometric Society (President, 1981),[20] American Economic Association (Executive Committee, 1977–1979),[21] American Statistical Association (advisory committees to the Bureau of the Census, 1964–1969, and Civil Aeronautics Board, 1966–1968), International Economic Association (Chair, Econometrics Section, 1989), National Academy of Sciences (National Research Council Committee on Social Sciences in the NSFn, 1975–1976),[22] NSF (proposal reviewer, 1960–1974), and Social Sciences Research Council (Director, Mathematical Social Science Board Summer Workshop on Lags in Economic Behavior, 1970).

Awards and honors

Nerlove’s awards include the John Bates Clark Medal (1969), a Fulbright Research Grant (1962–1963),[23] and two Guggenheim Fellowships (1962–1963; 1978–1979),[24] and he is a distinguished fellow of the American Agricultural Economics Association (1993)[25] and American Economic Association (2012).

Selected publications




  1. ^ "Marc L Nerlove". University of Maryland College of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  2. ^ "Marc Nerlove, Clark Medalist 1969". American Economic Association. 1969. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  3. ^ "John Bates Clark Medal". American Economic Association. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  4. ^ "Marc Nerlove, Distinguished Fellow 2012". American Economic Association. 2012. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  5. ^ Dupont-Kieffer, Ariane; Pirotte, Alain (2011). "The Early Years of Panel Data Econometrics". History of Political Economy. 43 (Suppl 1): 258–282. doi:10.1215/00182702-1158754.
  6. ^ Weston, J. Fred; Jacoby, N.; Hirshleifer, Jack (1975). "Samuel H. Nerlove, Management, Los Angeles". University of California, In Memoriam. University of California. pp. 110–112.
  7. ^ a b Ghysels, Eric; Nerlove, Marc (March 1993). "The ET Interview: Professor Marc Nerlove". Econometric Theory. 9 (1): 119. doi:10.1017/S0266466600007386. JSTOR 3532008. S2CID 121165463.
  8. ^ Peart, Andrew (2019). "University of Chicago Obituaries". University of Chicago Magazine. 111 (3). Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  9. ^ Nerlove, Sara. "Sara Nerlove". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  10. ^ "Death Notice: Mary Ellen Nerlove". Chicago Tribune. 7 August 2011. p. 37. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  11. ^ Nerlove, Evelyn; Nerlove, Miriam (1985). Who Is David?: A Story of an Adopted Adolescent and His Friends. New York City: Child Welfare League of America.
  12. ^ Nerlove, Marc (1955). The Predictive Test as a Tool for Research: The Demand for Meat in the United States (MA). The Johns Hopkins University.
  13. ^ Nerlove, Marc (1956). Estimates of the Elasticities of Supply of Corn, Cotton, and Wheat (PhD). The Johns Hopkins University.
  14. ^ Nerlove, Marc (1958). The Dynamics of Supply: Estimation of Farmers' Response to Price. The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science, ser. 76, no. 2. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  15. ^ Qin, Duo (1993). The Formation of Econometrics: A Historical Perspective. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-19-829287-6.
  16. ^ "People Section". Agricultural & Applied Economics Association Newsletter. 38. 2016. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  17. ^ "Marc L. Nerlove". IZA Institute of Labor Economics. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  18. ^ Marc L. Nerlove papers, 1930-2014, bulk dates 1947-2014. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.
  19. ^ United States, President's Committee to Appraise Employment and Unemployment Statistics (1962). Measuring Employment and Unemployment. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 5.
  20. ^ "Past Officers & Council". The Econometric Society. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  21. ^ "Past Members of the Executive Committee". American Economic Association. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  22. ^ United States, Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, Science Policy Research Division (1977). The Psychological and Social Sciences Research Support Programs of the National Science Foundation: A Background Report (PDF). Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 42.
  23. ^ "Marc Nerlove". Fulbright Scholar Program. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  24. ^ "Marc Nerlove". John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  25. ^ "Previous AAEA Fellows". Agricultural & Applied Economics Association. Retrieved 2022-11-14.