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This medal is awarded to the individual who has, in the view of the assessors, made the most distinguished contribution to the Social Sciences. It is awarded to James Peter Neary, Professor of Political Economy in University College, Dublin.

Before being appointed in 1980 to the chair in University College Dublin (only nine years after receiving his BA degree there), Peter Neary held positions in the Economic and Social Research Institute, in Trinity College Dublin and in Nuffield College Oxford, where he had been awarded his DPhil in 1978. He has held numerous distinguished visiting positions in Oxford, Paris, Stockholm, Oslo, Vienna, Kiel, Kingston (Ontario), Berkeley, Princeton, MIT and elsewhere. He has been president of the European Economic Association and is a Fellow of the Econometric Society. Thanks to the clarity and precision of his pedagogical style, he is in constant demand as a plenary lecturer. His career is marked by tireless energy and commitment in the national and international development of his discipline.

Peter Neary’s best known contributions to economic theory are in the field of International Trade, for which he has provided a unifying framework allowing a better understanding of contrasting approaches, and in Keynesian macroeconomics, whose theoretical underpinnings were greatly strengthened by his work. In a fast-changing discipline, many of his influential and widely cited papers have shown a remarkable endurance. His path-breaking paper (with Max Corden), ‘Booming sector and de-industrialisation in a small open economy’, continues to spawn a huge theoretical and empirical literature over thirty years after its publication. This classic paper showed how a favourable shock to one sector, such as a discovery of petroleum, could choke off activity in the rest of the economy.

He has also been an advocate of careful and consistent approaches to measurement of economic concepts. His recent book (with James E.Anderson), Measuring the Restrictiveness of International Trade Policy, rigorously develops an analytic tool for making direct comparisons between tariffs, quotas and other forms of trade restraint, and is proving its worth in practical application by the leading international organizations.

Peter Neary is undoubtedly Ireland’s most distinguished academic economist and a leading figure world wide.