Dale Thomas Mortensen, born in 1939, is an American economist and Professor of Economics at the Northwestern University. In 2010, Mortesen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences along with Christopher Pissarides and Peter Diamond for their analysis of labour markets with job search friction. Mortesen has contributed to the formulation of a theoretical framework for job search markets, expanding the theory and applying it to labour markets.
In 1970 Mortensen published his article, “Job Search, the Duration of Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve”. In this article he presents his search modelapplied to labour economics. His model tries to justify the unemployment phenomena even when demand for labour is not fulfilled, thus implying the existence of job vacancies. For Mortensen, workers will spend time searching for a job; however this searching process will be variable and heterogeneous for each worker. His models go against what was previously stipulated by neoclassical models. Mortensen also analyses how regulations and economic policies affects unemployment, job vacancies and wages and concludes that high unemployment benefits are ineffective, as they will make job searches longer.