A Rhodes Scholar and the recipient of many honors and awards, Professor Spence was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 and the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economics Association in 1981. He joined New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business as a professor of economics in September 2010. He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus of Management in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.
Professor Spence served as Philip H Knight Professor and dean of the Stanford Business School from 1990 to 1999. Before that, he was a professor of economics and business administration at Harvard University, chairman of its economics department, and dean of its Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He earned a PhD from Harvard University in 1972, a BA/MA from Oxford University in 1968 and a BA (summa cum laude) from Princeton University in 1966.