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In 1995, Robert E. Lucas, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. This review places Lucas' work in a historical context and evaluates the effect of this work on the economics profession. Lucas' central contribution is that he developed and applied economic theory to answer substantive questions in macroeconomics. Economists today routinely analyze systems in which agents operate in complex probabilistic environments to understand interactions about which the great theorists ofdoi:10.1257/jep.12.1.171 fatcat:kzpgyyko6bhrrp42xe3bmijbka