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.
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.
PhD, Harvard University, 1974; AB, University of California, Los Angeles, 1971, AM, 1971.
At Stanford since 1992. Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2006-Present; Jack Steele Parker Professor of Human Resources Management and Economics, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 1995-Present; Morris Arnold Cox Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, 2002-Present; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, 1985-2002; Professor of Human Resource Management and Economics, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, 1992-1995.
- The Peter Principle: Journal of Political Economy, 2004
- Educational Production: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001
- Performance Pay and Productivity: American Economic Review, 2000
- Economic Imperialism: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2000
- Culture and Language: Journal of Political Economy, 1999
Awards and Honors
- PhD Faculty Distinguished Service Award, 2000, Stanford Graduate School of Business
- MBA Distinguished Teaching Award, 1994, Stanford Graduate School of Business
- 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