Wilson Gift to Support Translation of Research for Public Discourse and Policy

A generous gift from University of Chicago Trustee Donald R. Wilson, Jr., AB’88, to the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics will support communication initiatives that translate research in economics to the broader world of public discourse and policy. Funds from the $2 million endowment will support communications outreach that makes the institute’s cutting-edge research more accessible and visible to policymakers and others.

“The Becker Friedman Institute is an intellectual destination for economists and those interested in serious inquiry in this discipline,” said Lars Peter Hansen, institute director and co-chair. “Our namesakes, Milton Friedman and Gary S. Becker, shared the belief that economics is a powerful tool for understanding the world. We are grateful for Don Wilson’s investment in the work of the institute and confident that this support will significantly enhance our ability to inform broader audiences of frontier advances in economic research and their implications for policy.”

“A crucial component of the institute’s mission is bringing the work of our faculty, students, and visitors to bear beyond the campus,” said Kevin Murphy, institute co-chair. “The opportunities created by Don Wilson’s support will allow us to better connect with policymakers and officials, as well as the public, in illustrating how economics provides a toolkit for identifying solutions to a wide range of challenges and questions.”

“That economic research plays a critical role in solving our most challenging problems has always been part of my personal belief system, and it’s a great honor for me to support the work of the institute,” said Don Wilson.

Wilson, who also serves on the institute’s council, is the founder and chief executive officer of principal trading firm DRW.  Established in 1992, the company has grown to more than 700 employees at offices in Chicago, Montreal, London, New York, San Francisco and Singapore. Wilson is also founder of the Futures Industry Association (FIA) Principal Traders Group, an organization that advocates for open access to markets, transparency, and data-driven policy.