The Clark Medal

DEFINITION of 'The Clark Medal'

An informal name for the John Bates Clark Medal, which is a prize awarded annually by the American Economic Association to an economist working in the United States who is younger than 40 years old and has contributed outstanding research to the field of economics. The Clark Medal is one of the most prestigious awards in the field, and many John Bates Clark Medal winners have gone on to win the Nobel prize in economics.

Unlike the Nobel prize, however, the medal is never awarded to more than one economist in the same year.

BREAKING DOWN 'The Clark Medal'

From its inception in 1947 until 2007, the medal was awarded only every two years. Starting in 2009, the award became annual. Previous winners include Paul Samuelson, Milton Friedman, James Tobin, Kenneth Arrow, Robert Solow, Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Zvi Griliches, Gary Becker, Daniel McFadden, A. Michael Spence and James Heckman. John Bates Clark was an American neoclassical economist who passed away March 21, 1938.

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