Robert F. Engle Biography

Academic, Editor, Educator, Scholar, Economist(1942–)
Robert F. Engle is a co-recipient of the 2003 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, honored for developing methods to analyze unpredictable movements in the financial market.

Synopsis

Born in New York in 1942, economist Robert F. Engle is best known for winning the 2003 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for developing methods to analyze "economic time series with time-varying volatility," or unpredictable movements in the financial market. He shared the award with Clive W.J. Granger. Engle and Granger's work led to the development of tools for analyzing stocks, enabling economists to make more accurate market forecasts.

Early Life and Education

Robert Fry Engle III was born in Syracuse, New York, on November 10, 1942. His father, Robert Fry Engle Jr., was a chemist at DuPont. His mother, Mary Starr Engle, was a French teacher.Engle spent the majority of his childhood in Media, Pennsylvania, where his father taught him to design his own scientific experiments.

Engle graduated at the top of his high school class and matriculated at Williams College, where he joined a fraternity, competed in lacrosse and majored in Physics. He went on to pursue a doctorate in economics from Cornell, completing his studies in 1969.

Academic Career

Robert F. Engle accepted a teaching position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was an assistant and then an associate professor from 1969 to 1977. He then joined the faculty of the new University of California campus at San Diego. He held this position until 2003, when he transitioned into the role of professor emeritus and research professor. Engle teaches courses in the management of financial services at the New York University Stern School of Business.

Major Contributions

In 2003, Robert F. Engle won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for developing methods to analyze "economic time series with time-varying volatility," or unpredictable movements in the financial market. He shared the award with Clive W.J. Granger. Engle and Granger's work led to the development of tools for analyzing stocks, enabling economists to make more accurate market forecasts.

Engle co-founded the Society for Financial Econometrics (SoFiE), a network of experts committed to the field of financial econometrics. In 2009, he founded the Volatility Institute at NYU. This organization promotes research on the issue of risk in financial markets. Engle also directs the NYU V-Lab, which provides forecasting and analysis of market trends using both classic models and newer tools.

Personal Life

Robert Engle has younger twin sisters, Sally and Patricia. Sally Starr Engle Merry is a professor of anthropology at Wellesley College while Patricia Lee Engle is a psychologist working with the global charity UNICEF.

In 1969, Engle married fellow Cornell student Marianne Enger. Enger, who was born in Slovakia, is a clinical psychologist. The couple has two children—a daughter and a son. Their daughter, Lindsey Engle Richland, followed her mother into the field of psychology. Son Jordan Engle is an actor and cinematographer.

Engle is an accomplished ice dancer. Although his parents had participated in the sport, Engle did not take it up until graduate school. He has skated in national competitions, placing second in 1996 and 1999.

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