Sir Richard William Blundell CBE FBA (born 1 May 1952, Shoreham-by-Sea) is a British economist and econometrician.
Blundell is the David Ricardo Professor of Political Economy at University College London and the Director of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He was the Research Director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies between 1986-2016 (January). He is also a Fellow of the Econometric Society (1991), Fellow of the British Academy (1996), Honorary Member of the American Economic Association (2001), Honorary Member American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2002) and Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries (2003).
Blundell was predicted to win the Nobel Prize in 2015 by Reuters along with two other notable economists, Chicago economist John A. List for his work on field experiments and Northwestern economist Charles Manski, for his work on the reflection problem.
Blundell received his B.Sc. in economics and statistics from University of Bristol in 1973 before he graduated with a master's degree in econometrics and mathematical economics from the London School of Economics in 1975.
He held a position as Lecturer in Econometrics at the University of Manchester from 1975 to 1984. He was appointed Professor of Economics at University College London in 1984 and Research Director of the IFS in 1986, before establishing the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Fiscal Policy at IFS in 1991. He was Visiting Professor of Economics at UBC in 1980, at MIT in 1993 and at Berkeley in 2000.
He was co-editor of Econometrica from 1997 to 2001 and co-editor of the Journal of Econometrics from 1992 to 1997. He currently serves on the board of the Annual Review of Economics.
In 2004 Blundell became President of the European Economic Association, in 2006, President of the Econometric Society in 2010, President of The Society of Labor Economics and served as President of the Royal Economic Society (2010-2012).
In 1995, Blundell received the Yrjö Jahnsson Award, given by the European Economic Association every two years to the best young economist in Europe, for his work in microeconometrics and the analysis of labour supply, welfare reform and consumer behaviour. In 2000 he was awarded the Econometric Society's Frisch Medal, awarded every two years for empirical or theoretical applied research published in Econometrica during the previous five years. In 2008 he was recipient of the Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize 2008 given by the Toulouse School of Economics to an international high level economist whose research combines both the theoretical and applied aspects of economics. He was the 2010 Distinguished Center for Economic Studies Fellow, an annual prize given by the CES of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich to an outstanding economist who has greatly contributed to the understanding of economic policy problems. In 2012 he was recipient of the IZA Prize in Labor Economics awarded by IZA for outstanding academic achievements in the field of labor economics.
Blundell was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland in 2003; by the University of Mannheim in 2011; by the Norwegian School of Economics NHH, Bergen in 2011; the Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland in 2016. He was knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to economics and social science.
He has received along with David Card the 2014 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Economics, Finance and Management category for "their contributions to empirical microeconomics," in the words of the jury’s citation. "Motivated by important empirical questions, they developed and estimated appropriate econometric models, making significant methodological contributions in the process. Both are known for their attention to institutional detail, careful and innovative research design, rigorous application of econometric tools, and dispassionate reporting of results."
Blundell received the 2016 Nemmers Prize in Economics for "his important contributions to labor economics, public finance and applied econometrics".
He has published six books and many articles on econometrics, microeconomics, consumer behaviour, public economics and labour economics.