Merton H. Miller

About Merton H. Miller

Who is it?: Economist
Birth Day: May 16, 1923
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, United States, United States
Died On: 3 June 2000(2000-06-03) (aged 77)\nChicago, Illinois, USA
Birth Sign: Gemini
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University University of Chicago London School of Economics
Field: Economics
School or tradition: Chicago School of Economics
Alma mater: Johns Hopkins University, (Ph.D.) Harvard University, (M.A.)
Doctoral advisor: Fritz Machlup
Doctoral students: Eugene Fama William Poole
Contributions: Modigliani–Miller theorem
Awards: Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (1990)

Merton H. Miller Net Worth

Merton H. Miller was born on May 16, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois, United States, United States, is Economist. Merton Howard Miller was an American economist known for his contribution to the theory of finance. Born into a Jewish emigrant family in the early 1920s, most of his formative years were spent during the Great Depression. Despite the odds, his parents made sure he got the best education. An alumnus of the Boston Latin School and Harvard University, he spent the Second World War years working for the U.S. Treasury Department. Later he earned his PhD from John Hopkins University and after a one-year stint at the London School of Economics, he joined Carnegie Institute of Technology at Pittsburg. There he met Franco Modigliani and with him he co-wrote the Modigliani-Miller theorem, which opened a new vista in the field of corporate finance. Thereafter, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he continued working on corporate finance. However, from the early 1980s, his research interest shifted to the regulatory as well as financial problems faced by the financial services industry. Ten years before his death from cancer, while he was still a professor at Chicago University, Miller was awarded a share of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his “pioneering work in the theory of financial economics”.
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Miller was born in Boston, Massachusetts to Jewish parents Sylvia and Joel Miller, a housewife and attorney. He worked during World War II as an Economist in the division of tax research of the Treasury Department, and received a Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, 1952. His first academic appointment after receiving his doctorate was Visiting Assistant Lecturer at the London School of Economics.


In 1958, at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), he collaborated with his colleague Franco Modigliani on the paper The Cost of Capital, Corporate Finance and the Theory of Investment. This paper urged a fundamental objection to the traditional view of corporate Finance, according to which a corporation can reduce its cost of capital by finding the right debt-to-equity ratio. According to the Modigliani–Miller theorem, on the other hand, there is no right ratio, so corporate managers should seek to minimize tax liability and maximize corporate net wealth, letting the debt ratio chips fall where they will.


Miller was married to Eleanor Miller, who died in 1969. He was survived by his second wife, Katherine Miller, and by three children from his first marriage: Pamela (1952), Margot (1955), and Louise (1958), and two grandsons.


Miller wrote or co-authored eight books. He became a fellow of the Econometric Society in 1975 and was President of the American Finance Association in 1976. He was on the faculty of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business from 1961 until his retirement in 1993, although he continued teaching at the school for several more years.


He served as a public Director on the Chicago Board of Trade 1983–85 and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange from 1990 until his death in Chicago on June 3, 2000. In 1993, Miller waded into the controversy surrounding $2 billion in trading losses by what was characterized as a rogue futures trader at a subsidiary of Metallgesellschaft, arguing in the Wall Street Journal that management of the subsidiary was to blame for panicking and liquidating the position too early. In 1995, Miller was engaged by Nasdaq to rebut allegations of price fixing.