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Biography of Merton Miller (1923-2000)


American economist, born in Boston on May 16, 1923 and died in Chicago on June 3, 2000. Specialized in the financial analysis of companies and capital markets, received the Nobel Prize in economics in 1990, along with Harry Markowitz and William Sharpe, for his pioneering work to establish a theory of financial economics.

Son of a wealthy family of New England, conducted his university studies at Harvard University, where he obtained the degree of Licentiate in 1943. Due to the needs created by the war, in 1944 he began to work in the Division of research of tax from the Department of the Treasury of the United States, since he left to join the Division of research and statistics of the Council of administration of the Federalestadounidense reserve.

In 1949 he decided to dispense with their occupation in the North American Central Bank and joined the PhD from the Johns Hopkins University, an institution where you obtained the doctor degree in 1952. Act followed, moved to the United Kingdom to exercise their teaching as a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, and on his return to the United States, joined the Faculty of the Graduate School of management industry from the Institute of technology of Carnegie (Pittsburgh).

In 1961 he moved to the school of business of the University of Chicago to teach the field of banking and finance. In this Center most of his academic life continued and Robert R. McCormick achieved the Distinguished Professorship there. During that time he defined his line of research in turning to the problems of the financial markets and their instruments. From 1976 he became President of the American Finance Association and since the beginning of the Decade of the years eighty was Chicago trade exchange.

International recognition to his career came in 1990, year in which the Swedish Academy awarded, together with other two compatriots, Harry Markowitzand William Sharpe, the Nobel Prize in economics for his contributions to financial economics.

Although the contributions of three researchers complement each other, Miller works focused on the relationship between financial structure and dividend policy of the companies with the market value of the same and the capital costs. These investigations, which began under the auspices of Franco Modigliani (awarded at the same time with the Nobel Prize in 1985), resulted in the theory of Finance (1972). This work, in addition to revolutionize the American financial landscape, contributed significantly to the companies to rethink their dividend policy, financial structure and the cost of capital relationship with corporate investments.

Merton Miller has to his credit with the Macroeconomics works: A Neoclassical Introduction, which is translated as macroeconomics (1974); The theory of finance (1972), along with E. F. Fama and translated as theory of finances; Financial innovations and market volatility (1991), translated into Spanish as innovation and volatility in the financial markets by Sonsoles Gallego; and Merton Miller on derivatives (1997), which was translated as the markets of derivatives (1999), among others.


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