Modigliani, Franco

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Modigliani, Franco

Franco Modigliani, 1918–2003, American economist, b. Rome. Jewish, antifascist, and trained as a lawyer, he fled Mussolini's Italy in 1938, settling in the United States in 1939, where he studied economics. After teaching at various universities, he became a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962 (emeritus in 1988), Modigliani won the 1985 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work in economic theory. He developed a life-cycle theory about the fluctuations in personal savings over an individual's lifetime, which states that people save to spend their money during retirement. He also demonstrated that corporate debt had less affect on how investors value a company than did the company's profitability, and helped devise an economic forecasting model used by the Federal Reserve Bank.

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