Robert M. Townsend

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Robert M. Townsend is a theorist, macroeconomist, and development economist who analyzes the role and impact of economic organization and financial systems through applied general equilibrium models, contract theory and the use of micro data. The Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics at MIT and a Research Professor at the University of Chicago, he is known for his seminal work on costly state verification, the revelation principle, optimal multi-period contracts, decentralization of economies with private information, models of money with spatially separated agents, forecasting the forecasts of others, and insurance and credit in developing countries. He is the author of Financial Structure and Economic Organization (1990), The Medieval Village Economy (1993), Households as Corporate Firms (2010) with Krislert Samphantharak, Financial Systems in Developing Economies (2011), Chronicles from the Field (2013)with Sombat Sakuntasathien and Rob Jordan, and numerous professional articles in leading journals.