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Belgian economist and professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 1998-2011).
 
He studied economics at the ULB, and obtained a Ph.D at Harvard University in 1986 (under the supervision of Eric Maskin and Andreu Mas-Colell). 
 
 He is a member of European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso’s Group of Economic Policy Analysis, since 2005.
 
 In 2005, he was President of the European Economic Association. He is a member of the Econometric Society and was Research Director at CEPR.

He is one of the 22 members of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.

He is member of the Académie Royale de Belgique and has been elected Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (April 2009).

In 1998, he was awarded the Francqui Prize on Human Sciences, and in 2003 he received the Yrjö Jahnsson Award.

He was Chairman of the Oxera Economic Council, and is currently member of the Scientific Council of the Toulouse School of Economics, member of the Scientific Council of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, member of the Scientific Council of CentER (Tilburg University), and Chairman of the Scientific Council of the ULB Foundation.

He was Deputy Chairman (2008–09), Chairman (2009–10) and Dean (2010–11) of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (SBS-EM) of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

He was member of the Haut Conseil de la Science et de la Technologie, Ministère français de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche (2009-2012).

In April 2011, he has been appointed Executive Director of the National Bank of Belgium.