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1999 Distinguished Faculty Service Award

Congratulations to Our 1999 Recipient
David P. Baron
Professor Emeritus, Political Economy

Excerpts and Highlights from Nominations

On Teaching

David Baron’s course is more organized and logically structured than any other course I have ever observed. This may sound like an exaggeration, but students that take the class tend to have this exact observation.

In thinking about new papers I often ask myself what questions about this work would Baron ask. Attempting to answer the question usually results in a deep understanding of the paper.

In my RA relationship, I have benefited tremendously from his interest in teaching. I have gained great insight into the art of constructing good theory, evaluating other’s works, and getting projects going.

I have come to appreciate the PE student folklore, “The model isn’t right unless it gets Baron’s seal of approval.”

The core Political Economics course that he teaches is quite simply the best class I have ever had in my life. No other course (or instructor) ever taught me so much about any other subject.

On Advising

He always makes time to meet with students and he provides detailed, thoughtful comments on their research.

David Baron’s brilliance, and interest in advancing the work of students, has really helped me begin doing my own research.

He is always available to provide advice and assistance, whether in his office, at a field get-together at his house, or watching spring football practice on a Saturday morning. I am somewhat unnerved to know that he reads my drafts at 6:30 am (yes, the comments are still coherent and insightful) and while away on vacation.

While not my advisor, Prof. Baron has been very helpful in my research efforts. His depth of knowledge is extensive and he has always been willing to offer detailed and useful advice.

In the past year alone, he has served on the reading committees of more than five students as well as primary advisor for at least four students. His advising efforts have translated into market success.


Prof. Baron is single-handedly responsible for the creation and development of the Political Economics field at Stanford GSB. He conceived the idea, recruited faculty, and quite literally wrote the book (which now serves as the textbook for the MBAs’ non-market class)… the field markedly enhances the level of intellectual stimulation at Stanford GSB.

Despite being a senior faculty member, he is still actively involved in the intellectual development of business school students. For example, he taught P681 last year despite the fact that he was on sabbatical.

He has made, and continues to make, a unique contribution to the PhD community. The PE group is quite simply “the house that Baron built”. The curriculum was (and is) developed by Baron to ensure that students will acquire skills that will help them in whatever research agenda they might pursue.

In giving the award to a faculty member who will set the standard for future recipients, I can think of no other individual who embodies the qualities that we deem valuable as well as David Baron.