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Yanis Varoufakis

Institution:
University of Essex

Discipline:
Mathematical Economics

Country of Origin:
Greece

Study Destination:
United Kingdom

Year of Graduation:
1981

Year inducted into Hall of Fame:
2015

Yanis Varoufakis

Varoufakis is a Greek economist and currently Finance Minister of Greece.  He was born in Athens in 1961 and moved to the UK in 1978 to attend university.  He initially enrolled at the University of Essex to study physics but he felt that economics was the lingua franca of political discourse and changed courses. However, during his time at Essex, Varoufakis felt that Economics was only interested in putting together simplistic mathematical models and that the mathematics utilised were third rate and, consequently, the economic thinking that emanated from it was atrocious.

Varoufakis graduated from the School of Mathematical Studies of the Univeristy of Essex with a BA (Hons) in Mathematical Economics in 1981 and in 1982, from the University o Birmingham with an MSc in Mathematical Statistics.  He the returned to Essex to complete a PhD in Economics (1987).

His academic appointments (teaching economic theory and policy, political economics and philosophy, econometrics, and game theory), began at the University of Essex and then took him to the Universities of East Anglia, Cambridge, Glasgow, and the University of Sydney – before returning to his native Greece to take up an appointment at the University of Athens as Professor of Economic Theory and director of the Political Economy Program, as well as to found UADPhilEcon, an international doctorate program in economics. He now holds a Visiting Professorship at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas at Austin.

Since the Global and Euro Crises began in 2008, Varoufakis has been an active participant in the debates occasioned by these events. Together with Stuart Holland and James K. Galbraith, he is the author of A Modest Proposal for Resolving the Euro Crisis.