Hal R. Varian

Hal R. Varian is the Chief Economist at Google. He started in May 2002 as a consultant and has been involved in many aspects of the company, including auction design, econometric analysis, finance, corporate strategy and public policy. He is also an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley in three departments: business, economics, and information management.

He received his SB degree from MIT in 1969 and his MA in mathematics and Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley in 1973. He has also taught at MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Michigan and other universities around the world.

Dr. Varian is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the Econometric Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was Co-Editor of the American Economic Review from 1987-1990 and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Oulu, Finland and the University of Karlsruhe, Germany.

Professor Varian has published numerous papers in economic theory, industrial organization, financial economics, econometrics and information economics. He is the author of two major economics textbooks which have been translated into 22 languages. He is the co-author of a bestselling book on business strategy, Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy and wrote a monthly column for the New York Times from 2000 to 2007.

Notable achievements

  • The Journal of Public Economic Theory has published a Special Issue: Commemorating works of James Andreoni, Theodore Bergstrom, Larry Blume, and Hal Varian (link)
  • The International Honor Society in Economics has published a special commemorative issue of its journal, The Americian Economist, that contains noteworthy articles from the past 50 years. My article, How to Build an Economic Model in Your Spare Time is included in this special issue.
  • In April, 2015, I was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economics Association.
  • On January 3, I delivered the 2010 Ely Lecture at the American Economics Association meetings.
  • I have retired from Berkeley and am now serving as Chief Economist at Google
  • In 2006 I received a Humboldt Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • My paper "Positions Auctions" won Paul Gerowski prize for the best article published in the International Journal of Industrial Organization in 2006.
  • Here is the special issue of the Journal of Public Economics that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Bergstrom, Blume, and Varian paper on the Private Provision of Public Goods".
  • I recently received an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Karlsruhe. I also hold an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Oulu
  • Accenture says I am number 9 on their list of the top 50 business intellectuals
  • Fortune Magazine says that Information Rules is one of the 75 smartest books they know about strategy.