Edmund Phelps joined the Department of Economics at Columbia in 1971 after several years at Pennsylvania and earlier Yale. He was named McVickar Professor of Political Economy in 1982.

He recently served as Senior Advisor to the project Italy in Europe at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy, for three years until May 2000. He was a member of the International Panel on Economic Policy of the OFCE in Paris in the 1990s, and co-organizer of the annual Villa Mondragone seminar of the University of Rome 'Tor Vergata' from 1990 to 2000. He was a charter member of the Economic Advisory council of the EBRD and wrote most of the Annual Economic Outlook, which appeared in September 1993. He has been a consultant at the U.S. Treasury Department, U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and Federal Reserve Board.

He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (USA) in 1981 and was made a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association in 2000. He is also a former vice-president of the Association, a fellow of the Econometric Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences and a past Guggenheim fellow. He holds a Ph.D. from Yale University (1959). In 1985 he was awarded an honorary degree from his alma mater, Amherst College, and in June 2000 he received honorary degrees from the University of Mannheim and the University of Rome "Tor Vergata."

During the last 40 years he has published extensively in professional journals. His recent books include "Structural Slumps: The Modern Equilibrium Theory of Employment, Interest and Assets" and "Rewarding Work: How to Restore Participation and Self-Support to Free Enterprise" (both Harvard University Press).

Alongside his interest in the functioning and performance of capitalist institutions, Phelps has also done research on the causes and cures of joblessness and low wages among disadvantaged workers.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in December 2001.