Nobel laureate James J. Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he directs the Center for the Economics of Human Development. He has devoted his professional life to understanding important social and economic issues, including how best to reduce inequality and promote opportunity for all. In addition to his 2000 Nobel Prize in Economics, Heckman has received many awards, including the John Bates Clark Medal, the Jacob Mincer Award, the 2005 and 2007 Dennis Aigner Award for Applied Econometrics, the Ulysses Medal from the University College Dublin, the Theodore W. Schultz Award, the Gold Medal of the President of the Italian Republic, the Frisch Medal, the Dan David Prize, and the Chinese Government Friendship Award. Heckman has a B.A. in Mathematics from Colorado College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University. He has been at the University of Chicago since 1973.

Research Interests

His work spans contexts and cultures. Current research at CEHD includes analyzing the impact of early childhood programs around the world; evaluating a home visiting program in rural China; studying the lifetime impact of iconic early childhood interventions, taking measures of health, and measuring "spillover" effects the programs may have had on their siblings, and even their own children. Another project uses original data gathered in the U.S., China, and Germany to measure preferences and traits to help inform governments, schools, and teachers about how to better assess socioemotional skills, which can be used better guide them in helping students achieve their full potential.

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Primary Section

Section 54: Economic Sciences

Secondary Section

Section 53: Social and Political Sciences