Andrew Michael Spence (born November 7, 1943) is an American economist and recipient of the 2001 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, along with George Akerlof and Joseph E. Stiglitz, for their work on the dynamics of information flows and market development.
Spence is probably most famous for his job-market signaling model, which essentially triggered the enormous volume of literature in this branch of contract theory. In this model, employees signal their respective skills to employers by acquiring a certain degree of education, which is costly to them. Employers will pay higher wages to more educated employees, because they know that the proportion of employees with high abilities is higher among the educated ones, as it is less costly for them to acquire education than it is for employees with low abilities. For the model to work, it is not even necessary for education to have any intrinsic value if it can convey information about the sender (employee) to the recipient (employer) and if the signal is costly.
Spence did his middle and high school education at the University of Toronto Schools of the University of Toronto. In 1966, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University upon graduation from Princeton University with a degree in Philosophy. He studied Mathematics at Oxford. Spence is a former Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and is the Chairman of the Commission on Growth and Development...
Quotes by Michael Spence
One way to measure the size of a company, industry, or economy is to determine its output. But a better way is to determine its added value - namely, the difference between the value of its outputs, that is, the goods and services it produces, and the costs of its inputs, such as the raw materials and energy it consumes.
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