Harry M. Markowitz, 1927-

Photo of H.M.Markowitz

Pioneer of finance theory.

Harry Markowitz obtained his Ph.D at Chicago with a dissertation on portfolio allocation, establishing modern portfolio theory (MPT).   Although supported by Jacob Marshack, Markowitz's choice of topic was itself risky, as finance was not regarded at the time as a topic fit for economic analysis.  Legendarily, when challenged by a professor at his defense, who bluntly noted that finance was not part of economics, Markowitz is said to have coolly replied "It is now."

Harry Markowitz shared the Nobel memorial prize in 1990 with William F. Sharpe and Merton H. Miller.


Major Works of Harry M. Markowitz

  • "The Utility of Wealth", 1952, JPE [cwls]
  • "Portfolio Selection",1952, J of Finance [cwls]
  • "Social Welfare Functions Based on Individual Rankings" with L.A. Goodman, 1952, AJS [cwls]
  • "The Optimization of a Quadratic Function Subject to Linear Constraints", 1956, Naval Research Logistics Quarterly
  • Portfolio Selection: Efficient diversification of investment. 1958
  • "Approximating Expected Utility by a Function of Mean and Variance", 1979, with H. Levy, AER 
  • Mean-Variance Analysis in Portfolio Choice and Capital Markets, 1987
  • "Foundations of Portfolio Theory", 1991, J of Finance [pdf]




Resources on Harry M. Markowitz



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