James J. Heckman
Research Fellow

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Heckman James J. Heckman is the Henry Shultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago. Heckman has a B.A. (1965) in Mathematics from Colorado College and an M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1971) in Economics from Princeton University. He has been at the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago since 1973. He was one of the founders of the Harris School of Public Policy, where he also has an appointment. Since 1991, he has been a research fellow at the American Bar Foundation. In 2010, he cofounded the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group, a global network of over 400 scholars working on aspects of measuring and addressing problems of inequality and economic opportunity. In May, 2014, he launched the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago.


He has devoted his professional life to understanding the origins of major social and economic questions related to inequality, social mobility, discrimination, the formation of skills and regulation in labor markets, and to devising and applying economically interpretable empirical strategies for understanding and addressing these questions. While his research is rooted in economics, he also actively collaborates across disciplines to examine all aspects of major problems. His recent interdisciplinary research on human development and skill formation over the life cycle draws on economics, psychology, genetics, epidemiology, neuroscience, and law to examine the origins of inequality, the determinants of social mobility, and the links among stages of the life cycle, starting in the womb. This work has influenced both the scholarly literature and public policy.


In 2000, Heckman won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on the microeconometrics of diversity and heterogeneity and for establishing a sound causal basis for public policy evaluation. He has received numerous other awards for his work, including the John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association in 1983, the Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2005 from the Society of Labor Economics, the 2005 and 2007 Dennis Aigner Award for Applied Econometrics from the Journal of Econometrics, the Ulysses Medal from the University College Dublin in 2006, the 2007 Theodore W. Schultz Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Gold Medal of the President of the Italian Republic, awarded by the International Scientific Committee of the Pio Manzú Centre in 2008, the Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy for Children Award from the Society for Research in Child Development in 2009, and the Frisch Medal from the Econometric Society in 2014 for the most outstanding paper in applied economics published in Econometrica in the previous five years. He is a recent recipient of a NIH MERIT award.


Heckman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA; a member of the American Philosophical Society; a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the Econometric Society; the Society of Labor Economics; the American Statistical Association; the International Statistical Institute; and the National Academy of Education. He has received numerous honorary degrees, and is a foreign member of several scholarly bodies.


James J. Heckman joined IZA as a Research Fellow in September 1999.

In 2000, he was co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics for his development of theory and methods for analyzing selective samples [read more].
  Email | CV | Homepage
 
IZA Discussion Papers:
No. Author(s)
Title
10456  Jorge Luis García
James J. Heckman
Duncan Ermini Leaf
Maria José Prados
The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
10356  Lex Borghans
Bart H.H. Golsteyn
James J. Heckman
John Eric Humphries
What Grades and Achievement Tests Measure
(published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), 2016, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1601135113.)
10005  James J. Heckman
Chase O. Corbin
Capabilities and Skills
10000 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
Rasmus Landerso
James J. Heckman
The Scandinavian Fantasy: The Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the U.S.
(forthcoming in the Scandinavian Journal of Economics)
9977  Marco Francesconi
James J. Heckman
Symposium on Child Development and Parental Investment: Introduction
9957  James J. Heckman
John Eric Humphries
Gregory Veramendi
Returns to Education: The Causal Effects of Education on Earnings, Health and Smoking
9476  Sneha Elango
Jorge Luis García
James J. Heckman
Andrés Hojman
Early Childhood Education
9247  Gabriella Conti
James J. Heckman
Rodrigo Pinto
The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors
8827  James J. Heckman
Gary Becker: Model Economic Scientist
8711  Junjian Yi
James J. Heckman
Junsen Zhang
Gabriella Conti
Early Health Shocks, Intrahousehold Resource Allocation, and Child Outcomes
(published in: Economic Journal, 2015, 124 (588), F347–F371)
8696  Tim Kautz
James J. Heckman
Ron Diris
Bas ter Weel
Lex Borghans
Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success
(published in: OECD Education Working Papers, 2014, No. 110 [Online Access])
8548  Philipp Eisenhauer
James J. Heckman
Stefano Mosso
Estimation of Dynamic Discrete Choice Models by Maximum Likelihood and the Simulated Method of Moments
8424  James J. Heckman
Introduction to A Theory of the Allocation of Time by Gary Becker
(published in: Economic Journal, 2015,125 (583), 403–409 [journal version])
8338  Gabriella Conti
Sylvia Frühwirth-Schnatter
James J. Heckman
Rémi Piatek
Bayesian Exploratory Factor Analysis
(published in: Journal of Econometrics, 2014, 183(1), 31–57)
8200  James J. Heckman
Private Notes on Gary Becker
8027  James J. Heckman
John Eric Humphries
Gregory Veramendi
Sergio Urzua
Education, Health and Wages
8000  James J. Heckman
Stefano Mosso
The Economics of Human Development and Social Mobility
(published in: Annual Reviews of Economics, 2014, 6(1), 689-733)
7750  James J. Heckman
Tim Kautz
Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions That Improve Character and Cognition
(published in: J. Heckman, J.E. Humphries, and T. Kautz (eds.), The Myth of Achievement Tests: The GED and the Role of Character in American Life, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014)
7628  James J. Heckman
Rodrigo Pinto
Causal Analysis after Haavelmo
(revised version published in: Econometric Theory, 2015, 31(1), 115-151)
7552  James J. Heckman
Rodrigo Pinto
Econometric Mediation Analyses: Identifying the Sources of Treatment Effects from Experimentally Estimated Production Technologies with Unmeasured and Mismeasured Inputs
(published in: Econometric Reviews, 2015, 34 (1-2), 6-31)
7550  Orla Doyle
Colm P. Harmon
James J. Heckman
Caitriona Logue
Seong Hyeok Moon
Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes
7415  James J. Heckman
Lakshmi K. Raut
Intergenerational Long Term Effects of Preschool: Structural Estimates from a Discrete Dynamic Programming Model
(forthcoming in: Journal of Econometrics [Online First])
7060  Gabriella Conti
James J. Heckman
The Developmental Approach to Child and Adult Health
(published in: Pediatrics, 131 (supplement 2), 2013, 133-141)
7040  James J. Heckman
Rodrigo Pinto
Peter Savelyev
Understanding the Mechanisms Through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes
(published in: American Economic Review, 2013, 103 (6), 2052-86)
6930 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
Gabriella Conti
James J. Heckman
The Economics of Child Well-Being
(published in: A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frones, and J. Korbin (eds.), Handbook of Child Well-Being: Theories, Methods, and Policies in Global Perspective, Dordrecht: Springer-Verlag, 2013)
6915  Steven W. Cole
Gabriella Conti
Jesusa M. Arevalo
Angela M. Ruggiero
James J. Heckman
Stephen J. Suomi
Transcriptional Modulation of the Developing Immune System by Early Life Social Adversity
(published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109(50), 20578-20583)
6580  James J. Heckman
Tim Kautz
Hard Evidence on Soft Skills
(published in: Labour Economics, 2012, 19 (4), 451-464)
6550  James J. Heckman
Junjian Yi
Human Capital, Economic Growth, and Inequality in China
(published in: S. Fan, R. Kanbur, S. Wei, and X. Zhang (eds)., The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China on Human Capital, Oxford: OUP, 2014)
6495  Gabriella Conti
Christopher Hansman
James J. Heckman
Matthew F.X. Novak
Angela M. Ruggiero
Stephen J. Suomi
Primate Evidence on the Late Health Effects of Early Life Adversity
(published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012, 109(23): 8866-8871.)
5950  James J. Heckman
Integrating Personality Psychology into Economics
5625  James J. Heckman
Rodrigo Pinto
Azeem M. Shaikh
Adam Yavitz
Inference with Imperfect Randomization: The Case of the Perry Preschool Program
5605  Lex Borghans
Bart H.H. Golsteyn
James J. Heckman
John Eric Humphries
Identification Problems in Personality Psychology
(published in: Personality and Individual Differences, 2011, 51 (3), 315-320)
5500 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
Mathilde Almlund
Angela Lee Duckworth
James J. Heckman
Tim Kautz
Personality Psychology and Economics
(published in: E.A. Hanushek, S. Machin and S. Woessman (eds). Handbook of the Economics of Education, Amsterdam: Elsevier. 2011)
5495 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
James J. Heckman
The American Family in Black and White: A Post-Racial Strategy for Improving Skills to Promote Equality
(published in: Daedalus, 2011, 140 (2): 70-89)
5275  Pedro Carneiro
James J. Heckman
Edward Vytlacil
Estimating Marginal Returns to Education
(published in: American Economic Review, 2011, 110 (6), 2754-2781)
5205  James J. Heckman
Daniel Schmierer
Tests of Hypotheses Arising in the Correlated Random Coefficient Model
(published in: Economic Modelling, 2010, 27 (6), Special Issue: P.A.V.B Swamy, 1355-1367)
5095  James J. Heckman
Seong Hyeok Moon
Rodrigo Pinto
Peter Savelyev
Adam Yavitz
Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program
(published in: Quantitative Economics, 2010, 1 (1), 1-46)
5050  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
Investing in Our Young People
(published in: Arthur Reynolds, Arthur Rolnick, Michelle M. Englund, and Judy A. Temple (eds.), Cost-Effective Programs in Children's First Decade: A Human Capital Integration, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 381-414)
4975  James J. Heckman
John Eric Humphries
Nicholas S. Mader
The GED
(published in: E.A. Hanushek, S. Machin and S. Woessman (eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011, Chapter 9, 423-483)
4740  Francisco Javier Arias-Vazquez
Oliver Azuara
Pedro Bernal
James J. Heckman
Cajeme Villarreal
Policies to Promote Growth and Economic Efficiency in Mexico
4702  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
Susanne Schennach
Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation
(published in: Econometrica, 2010, 78 (3), 883-931)
4680  James J. Heckman
Bas Jacobs
Policies to Create and Destroy Human Capital in Europe
(published in: Hans-Werner Sinn and Edmund Phelps (eds.), Perspectives on the Performance of the Continental Economies, MIT Press, 2011, 253-322)
4540  Armin Falk
James J. Heckman
Lab Experiments Are a Major Source of Knowledge in the Social Sciences
(definitive version published in: Science, 2009, 326 (5952), 535-538)
4533  James J. Heckman
Seong Hyeok Moon
Rodrigo Pinto
Peter Savelyev
Adam Yavitz
The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program
(published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2010, 94 (1-2), 114-128)
4525  James J. Heckman
Daniel Schmierer
Sergio Urzua
Testing the Correlated Random Coefficient Model
(published in: Journal of Econometrics, 2010, 158 (2), 177-203)
4329  James J. Heckman
Rosa Matzkin
Lars Nesheim
Nonparametric Identification and Estimation of Nonadditive Hedonic Models
(published in: Econometrica, 2010, 78(5), 1569-1591)
4324  Pedro Carneiro
James J. Heckman
Edward Vytlacil
Evaluating Marginal Policy Changes and the Average Effect of Treatment for Individuals at the Margin
(published in: Econometrica, 2010, 78 (1), 377-394)
4304  James J. Heckman
Petra E. Todd
A Note on Adapting Propensity Score Matching and Selection Models to Choice Based Samples
(published in: Econometric Journal, 2009, 12 (Supplement), S230-S234)
4001  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development
(published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2009, 7(2-3), 320 - 364)
3985  Lex Borghans
Bart H.H. Golsteyn
James J. Heckman
Huub Meijers
Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion
(published in: Journal of the European Economic Association, 2009, 7(2-3), 649-658)
3980 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
James J. Heckman
Sergio Urzua
Comparing IV with Structural Models: What Simple IV Can and Cannot Identify
(published in: Journal of Econometrics, 2010, 156 (1), 27-37)
3636 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
James J. Heckman
The Effect of Prayer on God's Attitude Toward Mankind
(published in: Economic Inquiry, 2010, 48 (1), 234-235)
3565  James J. Heckman
Sergio Urzua
Edward Vytlacil
Instrumental Variables in Models with Multiple Outcomes: The General Unordered Case
(published in: Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, 2008, 91-92, 9-74)
3515 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
James J. Heckman
Schools, Skills, and Synapses
(published in: Economic Inquiry, 2008, 46 (3), 289-324)
3495  James J. Heckman
John Eric Humphries
Paul A. LaFontaine
Pedro L. Rodríguez
Taking the Easy Way Out: How the GED Testing Program Induces Students to Drop Out
(published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2012, 30 (3), 495-520)
3425  James J. Heckman
Econometric Causality
(published in: International Statistical Review, 2008, (76) 1, 1-27)
3333 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
Lex Borghans
Angela Lee Duckworth
James J. Heckman
Bas ter Weel
The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits
(published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2008, 43 (4), 972-1059)
3310  James J. Heckman
Lance John Lochner
Petra E. Todd
Earnings Functions and Rates of Return
(published in: Journal of Human Capital, 2008, 2(1), 1-31)
3216 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
James J. Heckman
Paul A. LaFontaine
The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels
(published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2010, 92 (2), 244-262)
3115  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
The Evolution of Inequality, Heterogeneity and Uncertainty in Labor Earnings in the U.S. Economy
2940  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
Salvador Navarro
The Identification and Economic Content of Ordered Choice Models with Stochastic Thresholds
(published in: International Economic Review, 2007, 48(4), 1273-1309)
2875  James J. Heckman
The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation
(published in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2007, 104 (33), 13250-13255)
2725 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
James J. Heckman
Dimitriy V. Masterov
The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children
(published in: Review of Agricultural Economics, 2007, 29 (3), 446-493)
2565  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
A New Framework for the Analysis of Inequality
(published in: Macroeconomic Dynamics, 2008, 12 (Supplement 2), 315-354)
2550  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
The Technology of Skill Formation
(published in: American Economic Review, 2007, 97 (2), 31-47)
2320  James J. Heckman
Sergio Urzua
Edward Vytlacil
Understanding Instrumental Variables in Models with Essential Heterogeneity
(published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2006, 88 (3), 389-432)
2190 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
Eric I. Knudsen
James J. Heckman
Judy L. Cameron
Jack P. Shonkoff
Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce
(published in: World Economics, 2006, 7 (3), 17 - 41)
2184  James J. Heckman
Contributions of Zvi Griliches
(published in: Annales d'Economie et Statistique, 2005 (Special issue in tribute to Zvi Griliches),79-80, 5 - 22)
1790  James J. Heckman
Salvador Navarro
Dynamic Discrete Choice and Dynamic Treatment Effects
(published in: Journal of Econometrics, 2007, 136 (2), 341-396)
1700  James J. Heckman
Lance John Lochner
Petra E. Todd
Earnings Functions, Rates of Return and Treatment Effects: The Mincer Equation and Beyond
(published in: E. Hanushek and F. Welch, eds., Handbook of the Economics of Education, North Holland: Amsterdam, 2006, 307-458)
1675  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
Lance John Lochner
Dimitriy V. Masterov
Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation
(published in: E. Hanushek; F. Welch (eds.): Handbook of the Economics of Education, North Holland: Amsterdam, 2006, 697-812)
1453  Pedro Carneiro
James J. Heckman
Dimitriy V. Masterov
Labor Market Discrimination and Racial Differences in Premarket Factors
(published in: Journal of Law and Economics, 2006, 48(1), 1-39)
1444  James J. Heckman
Dimitriy V. Masterov
Skill Policies for Scotland
(published in: D. Coyle, W. Alexander and B. Ashcroft, eds., New Wealth for Old Nations: Scotland's Economic Prospects, Princeton University Press: 2005)
1437  Flavio Cunha
James J. Heckman
Salvador Navarro
Separating Uncertainty from Heterogeneity in Life Cycle Earnings
(published in: Oxford Economic Papers, 2005, 57 (2), 191-261)
853  Ivar Ekeland
James J. Heckman
Lars Nesheim
Identification and Estimation of Hedonic Models
(published in: Journal of Political Economy, 2004, 112 (S1), S60-S109)
843  James J. Heckman
Rosa Matzkin
Lars Nesheim
Simulation and Estimation of Hedonic Models
(published in: T. Kehoe, T.N. Srinivasan, and J. Whalley (eds.)- Frontiers in Applied General Equilibrium, Cambridge, 2005, 277 - 340)
829  James J. Heckman
Xuesong Li
Selection Bias, Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Returns to Education: Evidence from China in 2000
(published in: Pacific Economic Review, 2004, 9(3), 155-171)
826  Karsten T. Hansen
James J. Heckman
Kathleen Mullen
The Effect of Schooling and Ability on Achievement Test Scores
(published in: Journal of Econometrics, 2004, 121 (1-2), 39-98)
821  Pedro Carneiro
James J. Heckman
Human Capital Policy
(published in: J. Heckman and A. Krueger, Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policy?, MIT Press, 2003)
798  James J. Heckman
Jeffrey A. Smith
The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program
(published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2004, 22 (2), 243-298)
775 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
James J. Heckman
Lance John Lochner
Petra E. Todd
Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions
768 
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
James J. Heckman
Salvador Navarro
Using Matching, Instrumental Variables and Control Functions to Estimate Economic Choice Models
(published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2004, 86(1), 30-57)
767  Pedro Carneiro
Karsten T. Hansen
James J. Heckman
Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice
(published in: International Economic Review, 2003, 44 (2), 361-422)
525  James J. Heckman
Carolyn J. Heinrich
Jeffrey A. Smith
The Performance of Performance Standards
(published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2002, 37(4), 778-811)
518  Pedro Carneiro
James J. Heckman
The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling
(published in: Economic Journal, 2002, 112 (482), 705-734)
453  Pedro Carneiro
Karsten T. Hansen
James J. Heckman
Removing the Veil of Ignorance in Assessing the Distributional Impacts of Social Policies
(published in: Swedish Policy Review, 2001, 8 (2), 273-301)
 
IZA Policy Papers:
No. Author(s)
Title
17 James J. Heckman
Seong Hyeok Moon
Rodrigo Pinto
Peter Savelyev
Adam Yavitz
A New Cost-Benefit and Rate of Return Analysis for the Perry Preschool Program: A Summary
(published in: Arthur Reynolds, Arthur Rolnick, Michelle Englund, and Judy A. Temple (eds.), Childhood Programs and Practices in the First Decade of Life: A Human Capital Integration . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010, 366 - 380)
 

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