Famous 21st Century Economists

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Find out more about the greatest 21st Century Economists, including Janet Yellen, Angus Deaton, Amartya Sen, Raghuram Rajan and Alan Greenspan.
Vote for Your Favourite 21st Century Economists
 1 
Thomas Sowell
(Economist)
Thomas Sowell
11
Birthdate: June 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Gastonia, North Carolina

One of the few personalities known for his disdain of self-promotion, Thomas Sowell is an important American social theorist and economist. Over the years, he has played a prominent role working as a faculty member of many prestigious universities, such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Cornell University

 2 
Milton Friedman
(American Economist & Nobel Prize Winner in Economic Sciences Who Extolled the Virtues of a Free Market Economic System)
Milton Friedman
9
Birthdate: July 31, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: November 16, 2006

Milton Friedman was an American economist. Widely regarded as one of the most influential economists of the 20th century, Friedman was honored with the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1976. One of the most influential personalities of the Chicago school of economics, Friedman mentored people like Gary Becker and Thomas Sowell who went on to become leading economists.

 3 
Amartya Sen
(Indian Philosopher, Economist and Winner of 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences)
Amartya Sen
7
Birthdate: November 3, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India
Indian economist Amartya Sen was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory. Sen is known for his development of more sophisticated measures of poverty, and also for his work on the causes and prevention of famines. He is considered an important contemporary liberal thinker for his views about the nature and primacy of liberty. 
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 4 
Daniel Kahneman
(Winner of 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for His Work on the Psychology of Judgment and Decision-Making)
Daniel Kahneman
6
Birthdate: March 5, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli economist and psychologist. He was honored with the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on behavioral economics. In 2011, Kahneman was named among the top global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. In 2015, Daniel Kahneman was ranked seventh in the most influential economist in the world list published by The Economist.

 5 
Jeffrey Sachs
(Economist)
Jeffrey Sachs
7
Birthdate: November 5, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
 6 
Richard Thaler
(Nobel Prize Winner in Economics (2017))
Richard Thaler
5
Birthdate: September 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: East Orange, New Jersey, United States
 7 
Gary Becker
(Economist)
Gary Becker
4
Birthdate: December 2, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pottsville, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 3, 2014
 8 
Peter Navarro
(Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy (2017 - 2021))
Peter Navarro
9
Birthdate: July 15, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Economist and writer Peter Navarro has served as the Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and the Director of the National Trade Council under former president Donald Trump. He has also authored books such as Death by China and taught at the University of California.
 9 
Kenneth Arrow
(Eonomist)
Kenneth Arrow
3
Birthdate: August 23, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 21, 2017
 10 
Robert Reich
(22nd United States Secretary of Labor (1993 - 1997))
Robert Reich
10
Birthdate: June 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States

Economist and University of California, Berkeley professor Robert Reich has also been the U.S. secretary of labor. His rare bone disorder made him a victim of bullies in childhood, but he later won the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford. His bestselling book Saving Capitalism was made into a Netflix documentary.

 11 
Ben Bernanke
(American Economist and 14th Chair of the Federal Reserve (2006-2014))
Ben Bernanke
7
Birthdate: December 13, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States

Ben Bernanke is an American economist who served two terms as the chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 2006 to 2014, during which he supervised the Federal Reserve's response to the global financial crisis (GFC). For his efforts during GFC, Ben Bernanke was named Time Person of the Year in 2009.

 12 
Manmohan Singh
(Former Prime Minister of India)
Manmohan Singh
11
Birthdate: September 26, 1932
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gah, Punjab, British India (present-day Punjab, Pakistan)

The 13th Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh became the first Sikh in office when he took office in 2004. A prominent economist and academic, he held several key posts in the Government of India in the 1970s and 1980s. Known for his humility, he  has been described by the media as "one of the world's most revered leaders."

 13 
Robert J. Shiller
(Economist, Writer, Educationist, University teacher)
Robert J. Shiller
4
Birthdate: March 29, 1946
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Detroit
 14 
Eric Weinstein
(Mathematician)
Eric Weinstein
6
Birthdate: October 26, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Apart from being the MD of Thiel Capital, mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein is also a researcher at Oxford. The Harvard alumnus had quit academia for 20 years before he returned again. He coined the term “intellectual dark web” and works on topics such as gauge theory, risk management, and immigration.

 15 
Paul Krugman
(Columnist, Economist, Essayist, Blogger, University teacher, Actor, Pundit, Journalist, Writer)
Paul Krugman
8
Birthdate: February 28, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Albany

Economist Paul Krugman, who has taught at Yale, MIT, and Princeton, later won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, primarily for his work on the new trade theory and economic geography. He has also gained popularity for his op-ed column in The New York Times.

 16 
George Osborne
(Politician, Economist)
George Osborne
6
Birthdate: May 23, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England

Conservative Party politician George Osborne is the son of Osborne & Little co-founder Sir Peter Osborne. He initially aspired to be a journalist but started his career as an MP from Tatton and later served as the Chancellor Of The Exchequer and the First Secretary of State of the U.K.

 17 
Abhijit Banerjee
(Indian-born American Economist, Professor and 2019 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences)
Abhijit Banerjee
4
Birthdate: February 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Born to economics professor parents, Abhijit Banerjee grew up in India before he moved to the U.S. to study at Harvard. He later taught at Harvard and Princeton and is now associated with MIT. His studies on the ways of reducing world poverty won him a Nobel Prize.

 18 
Thabo Mbeki
(Politician, Economist)
Thabo Mbeki
5
Birthdate: June 18, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Transkei

Thabo Mbeki is a South African politician who is currently serving as the chancellor of the University of South Africa. From 1999 to 2008, he served as the president of South Africa. During his tenure as the president, the South African economy grew, creating employment opportunities. Over the years, he has received several awards, including the prestigious Good Governance Award.

 19 
Joseph E. Stiglitz
(Economist & Author)
Joseph E. Stiglitz
4
Birthdate: February 9, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gary

Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz is best known for his work on the theory of markets with asymmetric information. The MIT alumnus has taught at prestigious institutes such as Harvard and Stanford and currently teaches at Columbia University, He has been an economic advisor to the U.S. government, too.

 20 
Arthur Laffer
(Economist)
Arthur Laffer
9
Birthdate: August 14, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio, United States

Yale and Stanford alumnus Arthur Laffer is now one of the greatest economists of the U.S. Best known for his Laffer curve and his theory of taxes that explained how low tax rates could eventually provide higher revenues, he has been crucial to the American tax system.

 21 
Mario Draghi
(Economist, Banker, University teacher)
Mario Draghi
5
Birthdate: September 3, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome

The son of a banker father, Italian economist Mario Draghi initially served as the president of the European Central Bank and the Bank of Italy governor, and is the current prime minister of Italy. The media named him Super Mario for efficiently handling the Eurozone debt crisis.

 22 
Robert Solow
(Economist)
Robert Solow
3
Birthdate: August 23, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 23 
Lawrence Kudlow
(Director of the National Economic Council)
Lawrence Kudlow
6
Birthdate: August 20, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Englewood, New Jersey

Lawrence Kudlow began his career as staff economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then served as financial analyst at Wall Street, before joining the Ronald Reagan administration. Later he became an economic media commentator with National Review, and hosted several shows on CNBC. During the Trump administration, he served as Director of the National Economic Council.

 24 
Thomas Piketty
(French Economist Best Known for His Work 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century')
Thomas Piketty
5
Birthdate: May 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Clichy, France

French economist and professor Thomas Piketty is best known for his book Capital in the Twenty-first Century, which became a New York Times bestseller. He has taught at prestigious institutes such as LSE and MIT. He proposed taxing the rich to prevent high incomes and not merely to increase government revenue.

 25 
Jens Stoltenberg
(Economist, Politician)
Jens Stoltenberg
7
Birthdate: March 16, 1959
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oslo

Jens Stoltenberg is a Norwegian politician who served as the Prime Minister of Norway between 2000 and 2013 in two separate terms. An influential politician, Stoltenberg also served as the Minister of Industry and Energy from 1993 to 1996 and Minister of Finance from 1996 to 1997. Jens Stoltenberg is the current Secretary General of NATO.

 26 
Raghuram Rajan
(Former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India)
Raghuram Rajan
7
Birthdate: February 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Raghuram Rajan is an Indian economist who served as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India from 2013 to 2016. He also served as the 15th Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India. For his significant contribution in the field of economics, Raghuram Rajan was honored with the Fischer Black Prize by the American Finance Association in 2003.

 27 
Li Keqiang
(Politician, Economist)
Li Keqiang
5
Birthdate: July 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dingyuan County
 28 
Pierluigi Collina
(Italian Former Football Referee)
Pierluigi Collina
5
Birthdate: February 13, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy

Named "Best Referee of the Year" by FIFA for six consecutive times, Pierluigi Collina has a degree in economics from University of Bologne. His aptitude for the job was discovered when at seventeen he took up a course in refereeing and shortly began officiating in numerous high profile matches. Although retired, he is still involved with football in various capacities.

 29 
Paul Volcker
(Former Chair of the Federal Reserve)
Paul Volcker
5
Birthdate: September 5, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cape May, New Jersey, United States
Died: December 8, 2019
 30 
George P. Shultz
(Economist)
George P. Shultz
6
Birthdate: December 13, 1920
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
 31 
Mark Carney
(Governor of the Bank of England (2013 - 2020))
Mark Carney
5
Birthdate: March 16, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Fort Smith, Canada

After his 13-year stint with Goldman Sachs, Mark Carney served as the governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England. He was also part of the Canadian finance department. He is an ice-hockey lover and played the sport actively during the school and university days.

 32 
Scott Adams
(Comics artist, Economist, Journalist)
Scott Adams
7
Birthdate: June 8, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Windham (town), New York

Best known for his iconic comic strip Dilbert, Scott Adams has an MBA degree and has worked in banks and tech firms earlier. The character Dilbert first appeared in Adams’s office presentations and was inspired by his co-workers. His social-media video series, Coffee with Scott Adams, too, was quite popular.

 33 
Michael Porter
(Economist, Researcher, Author, Advisor, Speaker and Teacher)
Michael Porter
4
Birthdate: May 23, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ann Arbor
 34 
Lawrence Summers
(71st United States Secretary of the Treasury(1999 - 2001))
Lawrence Summers
7
Birthdate: November 30, 1954
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States

Apart from being the president of Harvard, Lawrence Summers has also been the U.S. secretary of the treasury, the World Bank’s chief economist, and the NEC director. The MIT alumnus became one of the youngest tenured faculty members at Harvard. He also writes regularly for The Washington Post.

 35 
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
(Nigerian-American Economist Who Has Served in Several Ministerial Positions in Nigeria)
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
6
Birthdate: June 13, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ogwashi Ukwu, Nigeria
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian-American economist and political figure. She served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2006 before serving as the Coordinating Minister for the Economy of Nigeria from 17 August 2011 to 29 May 2015. Ngozi also served as the Minister of Finance on two separate occasions; from 2003 to 2006 and again from 2011 to 2015.
 36 
Esther Duflo
(American-French Economist)
Esther Duflo
5
Birthdate: October 25, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France

Esther Duflo is a French–American economist. She is credited with co-founding the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, a global research center that works towards reducing poverty worldwide. In 2019, she shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Michael Kremer and Abhijit Banerjee for their efforts to reduce poverty.

 37 
Sonali Deraniyagala
(Memoirist, Economist)
Sonali Deraniyagala
4
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka
 38 
Alex Salmond
(Scottish Politician and Economist Who Served as First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014)
Alex Salmond
4
Birthdate: December 31, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Linlithgow
 39 
Miloš Zeman
(Current President of the Czech Republic)
Miloš Zeman
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kolín

Miloš Zeman is a Czech politician and the current President of the Czech Republic. An influential politician, Zeman served as the Prime Minister of the country from 1998 to 2002. Miloš Zeman achieved popularity as the leader of the Social Democratic Party and is credited with reviving the party into one of the major political forces in the Czech Republic.

 40 
Zhou Youguang
(Chinese economist and linguist)
Zhou Youguang
4
Birthdate: January 13, 1906
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Changzhou, Jiangsu, Qing dynasty Qing Empire
Died: January 14, 2017

Best remembered for creating a new writing system that allows Mandarin to be written in Roman alphabets, Chinese economist Zhou Youguang started working on the project in 1955, reaching his goal after three years of labor. Known as Father of Pinyin, he has also authored forty books, most notable among them being The Historical Evolution of Chinese Languages and Scripts.

 41 
Janet Yellen
(First Woman to Hold the Post of the United States Secretary of the Treasury)
Janet Yellen
7
Birthdate: August 13, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Economist Janet Yellen has had an illustrious career as an academic and researcher, and has taught at Harvard University and other reputed institutes. After chairing the Federal Reserve for 4 years, she is now the United States Secretary of the Treasury. She is married to Nobel-winning economist George Akerlof.

 42 
Greg Mankiw
(Economist, Blogger)
Greg Mankiw
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1958
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Trenton
 43 
Mohamed A. El-Erian
(Egyptian-American Economist and Former CEO of 'PIMCO')
Mohamed A. El-Erian
3
Birthdate: August 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Born to Egyptian parents in New York, Mohamed A. El-Erian grew up in the U.S., Egypt, and France, with his diplomat father. Educated at Cambridge and Oxford, he later served as the CEO of PIMCO. Apart from being a Bloomberg columnist, he has also written bestsellers such as When Markets Collide.

 44 
Yulia Navalnaya
(Economist)
Yulia Navalnaya
6
Birthdate: July 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Born to a scientist father, Yulia Navalnaya grew up to be an acclaimed economist. She met her husband, lawyer and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, while vacationing in Turkey. She has since been beside him through a number of tumultuous events, including his alleged poisoning by Russian officials.

 45 
Nouriel Roubini
(Economist, Art collector, University teacher)
Nouriel Roubini
3
Birthdate: March 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Istanbul
 46 
Viktor Yushchenko
(Economist, Politician, Banker)
Viktor Yushchenko
4
Birthdate: February 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Khoruzhivka
 47 
Tyler Cowen
(Economist, Educationist, Writer, Blogger, University teacher)
Tyler Cowen
4
Birthdate: January 21, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bergen County
 48 
Viktor Yanukovych
(Politician, Engineer, Economist, Racecar driver)
Viktor Yanukovych
5
Birthdate: July 9, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yenakiieve
 49 
Muhammad Yunus
(Bangladeshi Econimist Who Won Nobel Peace Prize for Founding the 'Grameen Bank' & Pioneering the Concepts of Microfinance)
Muhammad Yunus
4
Birthdate: June 28, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chittagong
More like a messiah to the poor, Muhammad Yunus initially helped poverty-stricken weavers of Bangladesh with small loans and eventually set up the Grameen Bank. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning social entrepreneur serves several charities, too. He was eventually removed from Grameen Bank by the government, due to old age.
 50 
Sepp Blatter
(Functionary, Economist)
Sepp Blatter
5
Birthdate: March 10, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Visp

Swiss sports administrator Sepp Blatter has been a well-known face in football. Once the FIFA president, he was often plagued by criticism for his controversial statements and was also publicly heckled multiple times. He has also headed the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation and has organized the Olympics, too.