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James Joseph Heckman
Chicago School
James Heckman.jpg
Birth 19 April 1944 (1944-04-19) (age 65)
Nationality  United States
Institution University of Chicago
Field Microeconomics
Alma mater Princeton University
Colorado College
Contributions Statistical analysis of individual behaviour
Awards 2000 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics
Information at IDEAS/RePEc

James Joseph Heckman (born 19 April 1944) is an American economist and Nobel laureate. He is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Distinguished Chair of Microeconometrics at University College, London, and University College, Dublin.

Heckman shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2000 with Daniel McFadden for his pioneering work in econometrics and microeconomics. He is considered to be among the ten most influential economists in the world.[1]




Early years

Heckman was born to John Jacob Heckman and Bernice Irene Medley in Chicago, Illinois.[2] Heckman received his B.A. in mathematics from Colorado College, and received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in economics in 1971. Heckman then served as an Assistant Professor at Columbia University before moving to the University of Chicago in 1973. In addition to serving as the Henry B. Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, Heckman is also the director of the Economics Research Center and the Center for Social Program Evaluation at the Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy. In 2004, he was appointed as the Distinguished Chair of Microeconometrics at University College, London. In June 2006 he was appointed as the Professor of Science and Society at University College Dublin.[3] Heckman is also a senior research fellow at the American Bar Foundation.


Heckman is noted for his contributions to selection bias and self-selection analysis especially Heckman correction, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. He is also well-known for his empirical research in labor economics, particularly regarding the efficacy of early childhood education programs.

Heckman's work has been devoted to the development of a scientific basis for economic policy evaluation, with special emphasis on models of individuals and disaggregated groups, and to the problems and possibilities created by heterogeneity, diversity, and unobserved counterfactual states.

In the early 1990s, his pioneering research on the outcomes of people who obtain the GED certificate received national attention.

His recent research focuses on human development and lifecycle skill formation, with a special emphasis on the economics of early childhood education.

Heckman has published over 200 articles and several books. His most recent books include Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policy? (with Alan Krueger); Evaluating Human Capital Policy, Law, and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean (with Carmen Pages); and the Handbook of Econometrics, volumes 5, 6A, and 6B (edited with Edward Leamer).

Heckman has contributed policy analysis to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.[4]

Personal life

Heckman is married to sociologist Lynne Pettler-Heckman, with whom he has two children; son Jonathan (b. 1982), a physicist, and daughter Alma (b. 1986), a Fulbright scholar.[2][5]

See also


External links


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