Who is Philip Dybvig? 2022 Economics Nobel laureate mired in sexual harassment accusations

Who is Philip Dybvig? 2022 Economics Nobel laureate mired in sexual harassment accusations
Seven former pupils claim Philip Dybvig harassed them sexually (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI: An American university is looking into charges of sexual harassment against a Nobel prize-winning economist that the professor's lawyer rejects as "professional rivalry." According to his attorney Andrew Miltenberg, the Title IX office at Washington University in St Louis has been questioning Philip Dybvig, who shared this year's Nobel Prize in Economics for his research into bank failures, AP reports.

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The charges, according to Miltenberg, are "factually inaccurate." Dybvig, fellow economist Douglas W Diamond, and former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke received the economics Nobel Prize in October for their studies on bank failures, which built on the Great Depression's lessons and influenced America's resolute reaction to the financial crisis of 2007–2008. The Nobel panel stated that the early 1980s discoveries established the framework for regulating financial markets.

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The Nobel committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that their work demonstrated “why avoiding bank collapses is vital.” The Title IX office, which deals with school sexual harassment accusations, reportedly contacted at least three former students since October for interviews over allegations concerning Dybvig, according to emails Bloomberg News obtained. They are among a group of seven former pupils who claim Dybvig harassed them sexually, according to Bloomberg, who said it had spoken with them. The majority of the women Bloomberg spoke with chose to remain anonymous.

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which oversees the prizes, contacted the institution to ensure they had a fair procedure in place to investigate the complaints, according to Tore Ellingsen, chair of the Nobel Prize Committee for Economic Sciences. "As long as the university has not determined that Dybvig has done something wrong, I think we owe him an untarnished celebration of his great scientific achievement," Ellingsen told Bloomberg.

The timing of the charges is suspect, according to Miltenberg, because they arose after the award was announced but before the ceremony. "We believe," he stated, "that this is a situation of professional rivalry." According to Miltenberg, Dybvig is unrestricted and had previously made plans to skip the spring semester of classes "well in advance" of the allegations being made public. The inquiry is still in its early stages, and the Title IX office wants to meet with Dybvig once more, he added. 

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Who is Philip Dybvig?

Philip H Dybvig is well recognized for his joint 1983 paper with Diamond, one of the most often cited works in finance and economics. The Diamond-Dybvig model demonstrates how banks contribute to the generation of liquidity in the economy and how this creation of liquidity exposes the banks to runs in the absence of deposit insurance or other forms of protection. Dybvig previously held tenure at Yale University and taught at Princeton University. In addition to more than 35 publications in prestigious journals, he has published two textbooks. He has provided advice to people, businesses, and the government.

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 Who is Philip Dybvig? 2022 Economics Nobel laureate sexual harassment accusations