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Edward Lazear

Edward   Lazear
Professor, Economics
Contact Info
EdwardLazear
Jack Steele Parker Professor of Human Resources Management and Economics
Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
Professor of Economics (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences
Senior Fellow (by courtesy), Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
Academic Area: 
Economics

Research Statement

Edward Lazear is a labor economist who is a founder of a field known as personnel economics. His research centers on employee incentives, promotions, compensation, and productivity in firms. He also has devoted study to culture and language, with an emphasis on explaining the rise in multiculturalism in the United States. Recent work includes an already widely known theory of educational production. His current research is on entrepreneurship, leadership, and its relation to personnel economics.

Bio

Edward P. Lazear, the Morris A. Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution since 1985, is also the Jack Steele Parker Professor of Human Resources Management and Economics at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, where he has taught since 1992. Professor Lazear taught previously at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, where he was the Brown Professor of Urban and Labor Economics.

Lazear served as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and was at the White House from 2006 to 2009. In his position as the chief economic advisor to the President, he advised on a broad range of matters that involve both the macroeconomy and microeconomic issues.

Founding Editor of the Journal of Labor Economics, Lazear is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is the former President of the Society of Labor Economists.

Professor Lazear has written extensively on labor markets and personnel issues; microeconomic theory; issues involving worker compensation and effects on productivity; governmental policies on discrimination, affirmative action, and comparable worth; educational policy; unemployment; culture, language, and diversity issues; the doctrine of employment at will; distribution of income within the household; and pricing and marketing policies. He has over 100 published articles and eleven books.

Professor Lazear’s book Personnel Economics (MIT Press, 1995) expands on his 1993 Wicksell Lectures. In 1998, he received the Melamed Prize, which cited this book as the best research by a business school professor anywhere in the world during the previous two years. He received the Distinguished Teaching Award from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business as well as the PhD Faculty Distinguished Service Award.

Lazear won the IZA Prize in Labor Economics, which is given to the person viewed to have made the most significant contributions to labor economics in the world. This was primarily for his work in personnel economics. In June 2006, Lazear was awarded the Jacob Mincer Prize given by the Society of Labor Economics for lifetime contributions to the field. He holds two honorary doctorates.

In addition to his former duties in Washington, Professor Lazear has been an advisor to the governments of Czechoslovakia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia.

Born in 1948, Professor Lazear grew up in Los Altos, California. He received his AB and AM degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his PhD in economics from Harvard University.

Academic Degrees

  • Doktor Honoris Causa (Honorary), University of Zurich, 2010
  • Doctor Mercaturae Honoris Causa (Honorary), Aarhus School of Business, 2006
  • Legum Doctor (Honorary), Albertson College of Idaho, 1997
  • Doktor Honoris Causa (Honorary), Copenhagen Business
  • PhD in Economics, Harvard University, 1974
  • A.B., Economics, UC Los Angeles, 1971
  • A.M., Economics, UC Los Angeles, 1971

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 1992
  • Jack Steele Parker Professor of Human Resources Management and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1995-Present
  • Professor of Human Resource Management and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1992-1995
  • Coordinator of Domestic Studies, Hoover Institution, 1987-1990
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Chicago,1974-1978
  • Associate Professor of Industrial Relations, University of Chicago, 1978-1981
  • Professor of Industrial Relations, University of Chicago, 1981-1985
  • Isidore Brown and Gladys J. Brown Professor of Urban and Labor Economics, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago, 1985-1992
  • Visiting Appointments:
  • University of Chicago Becker Friedman Institute 2009-2015
  • London School of Economics, June 1999
  • NAKE (Netherlands Network of Economics), Tilburg, Netherlands, June 1999
  • University of Oregon, March 1999
  • Finnish Postgraduate Program in Economics, Helsinki, August 1998
  • Aarhus University, Denmark, September 1996
  • Institut d'Etudes Politiques/MBA Program, Paris, September 1995
  • University of Saarlandes/Center for the Study of New Institutional Economics, Saarbrucken, Germany, August 1992
  • Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris, May 1987
  • Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, 1983-84 (in residence January 1984)
  • National Productivity Board, Singapore, June 1985 & July 1982

Professional Experience

  • Morris Arnold Cox Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, 2002-present
  • Chairman, President’s Council of Economic Advisers, The White House, 2006-2009
  • Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, 1985-2002

Awards and Honors

  • Robert Davis Award for Lifetime Achievement, Stanford University, 2016
  • Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) Fellow, 2015-
  • Coulter Family Faculty Fellow, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2014-2015
  • Honorary Doctorate Mercaturae Honoris Causa, Copenhagen Business School, 2013
  • American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Fellow, 2012-
  • Winnick Family Faculty Fellowship, 2010-2011
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Zurich, 2010
  • Spence Faculty Fellow, 2009-2010
  • Jacob Mincer Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Society of Labor Economists, 2006
  • Honorary Doctor Mercaturae Honoris Causa, Aarhus School of Business, 2006
  • IZA Prize in Labor Economics, 2004
  • Society of Labor Economists, Fellow, 2003-
  • National Academy of Sciences, BOTA, member, 2001-2005
  • Michael and Monica Spence Faculty Fellow, 2000-2001
  • PhD Faculty Distinguished Service Award, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 2000
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 2000-
  • Leo Melamed Biennial Prize for Outstanding Research, 1998
  • President, Society of Labor Economists, 1997-98
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, Albertson College of Idaho, awarded June, 1997
  • First Vice-President, Society of Labor Economists, 1996-97
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business Research Fellowship, 1996-97
  • Personnel Economics selected as MIT Press Outstanding Book, 1996
  • Personnel Economics selected as one of ten most important books in Labor Economics Princeton, 1996
  • MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1994
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, May 1994
  • Econometric Society, Fellow, 1988-
  • Member, Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, 1988-
  • Grant by Government of Spain to study U.S./Spanish unemployment, 1987-1988
  • Binational Fellowship, United States/Israel Binational Science Foundation, 1985
  • Elected Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, June 1981
  • National Science Foundation Grant Recipient, 1979-81, 1981-83, 1984-86, 1987-90, 1991-95,1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-2001
  • Graduate Fellow, National Science Foundation, 1971-74

Publications

Journal Articles

Edward Lazear, Kathryn Shaw, Christopher Stanton. Journal of Labor Economics. January 2016, Vol. 34, Issue 1, Pages 333-360.
Edward Lazear, Kathryn Shaw, Christopher Stanton. Journal of Labor Economics. October 2015, Vol. 33, Issue 4, Pages 823-861.
Edward Lazear. American Economic Review P&P. May 2015, Vol. 105, Issue 5, Pages 80-84.
Edward Lazear. Research in Economics. March 2015, Vol. 69, Issue 1, Pages 63-74.
Edward Lazear. The Economists' Voice. March 2012, Vol. 9, Issue 2.
Edward Lazear. Labour Economicsq. January 2012, Vol. 19, Issue 1, Pages 92-101.
Edward Lazear, Ulrike Malmendier, Roberto A. Weber. American Economic Association. January 2012, Vol. 4, Issue 1, Pages 136-163.
Edward Lazear. Singapore Economic Review. 2012, Vol. 57, Issue 2, Pages 32.
Edward Lazear. Nordic Economic Policy Review. November 21, 2011.
Edward Lazear. American Economic Review. 2004, Vol. 94, Issue 2, Pages 208-211.
Edward Lazear. Journal of Political Economy. 2004, Vol. 112, Issue S1, Papers in Honor of Sherwin Rosen: A Supplement to Volume 112, Pages S141-S163.
Edward Lazear. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 2001, Vol. 116, Issue 3, Pages 777-803.
Edward Lazear. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 2000, Vol. 115, Issue 1, Pages 99-146.
Edward Lazear. American Economic Review. 2000, Vol. 90, Issue 5, Pages 1346-1361.
Edward Lazear. Journal of Political Economy. 1999, Vol. 107, Issue S6, Pages S95-S126.

Book Chapters

Edward Lazear, Paul Oyer. The Handbook of Organizational Economics. Princeton University Press, December 2012, Pages 479-519.

Other Publications

Edward Lazear. IZA World Labor. http://wol.iza.org/articles/structural-or-cyclic-labor-markets-in-recessions/long: August 2014.
Edward Lazear, Keith Hennessey. Hoover Institution Essays. Stanford University: Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University , August 2013.

Working Papers

Overconfidence and Occupational Choice | PDF
Edward Lazear, January 2016
Demographics and Entrepreneurship
Edward Lazear, James Liang, Hui Jackie) Wang, September 2014

Courses Taught

Degree Courses

2015-16

This course is designed to teach the student how to use economics to solve practical personnel problems that affect worker productivity. Topics include: selecting the best workers to hire, training workers, turnover, setting compensation...

Economic issues permeate all that happens in government. This topics-based course will examine a variety of historic and current issues on the political agenda where economics is central to decision making. It is taught by faculty who served at...

2014-15

This course is designed to teach the student how to use economics to solve practical personnel problems that affect worker productivity. Topics include: selecting the best workers to hire, training workers, turnover, setting compensation...

Economic issues permeate all that happens in government. This topics-based course will exam a variety of historic and current issues on the political agenda where economics is central to decision making. It is taught by faculty who served at the...

This seminar will examine applications of labor economics to business issues and firms' practices. Material will include both theoretical and empirical work, and the syllabus will range from classics in Personnel Economics to current (unpublished...

Conferences, Talks, and Speaking Engagements

Stanford University Affiliations

Greater Stanford University

  • Professor of Economics (by courtesy), School of Humanities and Sciences
  • Morris Arnold Cox Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
  • Senior Fellow (by courtesy), Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Service to the Profession

  • Advisory Board, American Compensation Assn.
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • First Vice President, Society of Labor Economists
  • Former Vice President and President, Society of Labor Economists
  • Founding Editor, Journal of Labor Economics

In the Media

Wall Street Journal, October 3, 2012
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Edward Lazear says to reduce unemployment "all we need to do is grow the economy."
Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2012
In the Wall Street Journal, Edward Lazear discusses how Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will debate the economic numbers.
Washington Post, February 30, 2006

Insights by Stanford Business

April 11, 2016
Research shows how this recession bucked historical patterns.
May 8, 2013
A study suggests it's many factors, from priorities to putting in fewer hours at work than men.
February 15, 2013
Economist Edward Lazear says Congress and the president must focus on policies that encourage greater investment.
September 27, 2012
A new study finds that good middle managers add to workplace productivity.
August 1, 2010
An economist says generalists stand a better chance of making it to top management positions than those with more specialized resumes.
February 1, 2005
Survey data confirms that those who have had a variety of jobs and experiences are more likely to start their own companies.

School News

May 16, 2016
Lazear is the 15th recipient of the Robert T. Davis Faculty Award for a lifetime of achievement and service to Stanford GSB.