Open main menu

Philippe Michel (economist)

Philippe Michel (October 6, 1937 – July 22, 2004) was a French mathematical economist.[1]


From mathematics to mathematical economicsEdit

Philippe Michel earned a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Paris VI in 1972, and became a Professor of Mathematics in 1976 at the University of Paris I.[2] In 1993, he joined the Faculty of Economics at the University of Aix-Marseille II at GREQAM.[2] Philippe Michel first scientific contributions were in the field of mathematics, with a focus on optimal control theory. As the methods developed in this field are important tools used in economics, Philippe Michel progressively entered into this field. A list of his contribution to mathematics is provided in an article by Jean-Paul Penot.[3]

Contributions to economics [4]Edit

Philippe Michel's contribution to economics is both related to macroeconomics and public economics. His reference framework is the growth model, viewed as a succession of different generations. The numerous contributions can be classified according to three main topics. First, Philippe Michel studies the problem of the choice of a social welfare function that allows defining the social optimum. Second, when the social optimum has been characterized, its decentralization can be achieved in various frameworks where different types of frictions or externalities may come from environment, education, money, etc. Finally, applying an economic policy may imply two problems : the problem of the inconsistency of the optimal policy, and the question of the neutrality of transfers, when agents are altruistic.

Prize Philippe MichelEdit

Philippe Michel died on July 22, 2004. Jean-Michel Grandmont (de) published an obituary[2] stressing that his prolific scientific contributions were a reflection of his character: original and deep thinking, intellectual honesty. Through his publications, he still has an important place in economic research. The role he played in advising numerous young researchers over the years has led his friends to honor him through the award of a young researcher prize for the best paper on economic dynamics on the fifth anniversary of his death.[5]

Books publishedEdit

  • Philippe Michel published several books in French.
  • In English: A Theory of Economic Growth, Dynamics and Policy in Overlapping Generations (with D. de la Croix), Cambridge University Press, 2002.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Grandmont, Jean-Michel. "Remembering Philippe Michel". Research in Economics. 59 (2): 83–84. doi:10.1016/j.rie.2005.04.008. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  3. ^ Penot, Jean-Paul. "From Mathematics to Mathematical Economics: the Itinerary of Philippe Michel" (PDF). Laboratoire de Mathéematiques Appliquéees.
  4. ^ Bertrand Wigniolle, « La contribution de Philippe Michel à l'économie publique », Économie publique/Public economics [En ligne], 15 | 2004/2, mis en ligne le 12 janvier 2006, consulté le 22 octobre 2015. URL :
  5. ^ "Philippe Michel Young Researcher Prize in Economic Dynamics". Paris School of Economics.
  6. ^ de la Croix, David; Michel, Philippe (2002). A Theory of Economic Growth: Dynamics and Policy in Overlapping Generations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521001151.