Dale Thomas Mortensen received his Ph.D. in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University and his B.A. in economics from Willamette University. He was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He has been on the faculty of Northwestern University since 1965 and a professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences at the Kellogg School of Management since 1980.He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics jointly along with Christopher A. Pissarides from the London School of Economics and Peter A. Diamond from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010 for "for their analysis of markets with search frictions".
Mortensen's research focuses on labor economics, macroeconomics and economic theory. He is especially known for his pioneering work on the search and matching theory of frictional unemployment. He has extended the insights from this work to study labor turnover and reallocation, research and development, and personal relationships.