Board of Academic Advisors
Tyler Cowen is the Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and serves as chairman and faculty director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. With colleague Alex Tabarrok, Cowen is coauthor of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution and cofounder of the online educational platform Marginal Revolution University. A dedicated writer and communicator of economic ideas, Cowen is the author of several bestselling books and is widely published in academic journals and the popular media. Cowen’s latest book is Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Antihero, which Cass Sunstein described as “iconoclastic, charming, [and] wise” and as “essential reading.” He writes a column for Bloomberg View; has contributed extensively to national publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Money; and serves on the advisory boards of both Wilson Quarterly and American Interest. His research has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, Ethics, and Philosophy and Public Affairs. Cowen is host of Conversations with Tyler, a popular podcast series featuring today’s most underrated thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between. Past guests include David Brooks, Malcolm Gladwell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Cowen graduated from George Mason University with a BS in economics and received his PhD in economics from Harvard University.
Simeon Djankov, Ph.D.,Advisor
Dr. Djankov is the Director of the Financial Markets Group at the London School of Economics and a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Dr Djankov was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Bulgaria from 2009 to 2013. Prior to his cabinet appointment, Dr. Djankov was chief economist of the finance and private sector vice presidency of the World Bank. In his 14 years at the Bank, he worked on regional trade agreements in North Africa, enterprise restructuring and privatization in transition economies, corporate governance in East Asia, and regulatory reforms around the world. He is the founder of the World Bank’s Doing Business project. He is author of Inside the Euro Crisis: An Eyewitness Account (2014) and principal author of the World Development Report 2002. He is also coeditor of The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism (2014). Previously he was rector of the New Economic School in Russia and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He was associate editor of the Journal of Comparative Economics from 2004 to 2009 and chairman of the Board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012–13. He is also a member of the Knowledge and Advisory Council at the World Bank. He has published over 70 articles in professional journals. He obtained his doctorate in economics in 1997 from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Steven N. DurlaufSenior Fellow Archbridge Institute
Steven Durlauf is an Associate Director at the Center for the Economics of Human Development. He is also a Professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School for Public Policy. Durlauf’s research spans many topics in microeconomics and macroeconomics. His most important substantive contributions involve the areas of poverty, inequality and economic growth. Much of his research has attempted to integrate sociological ideas into economic analysis. His major methodological contributions include both economic theory and econometrics. He helped pioneer the application of statistical mechanics techniques to the modelling of socioeconomic behavior and has also developed identification analyses for the empirical analogs of these models. Other research has focused on techniques for monetary policy evaluation. Durlauf is also known as a critic of the use of the concept of social capital by economists and other social scientists and has also challenged the ways that agent-based modelling and complexity theory have been employed by social and natural scientists to study socioeconomic phenomena. Prior to joining Harris, he was the William F. Vilas Research Professor and Kenneth J. Arrow Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Durlauf is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He has held previous positions at Stanford University; University of California, Los Angeles; Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro; the Santa Fe Institute; and Federal Reserve, among others. Durlauf graduated magna cum laude with a BA in economics from Harvard in 1980. He went on to earn his doctorate from Yale in 1986.
James J. HeckmanSenior Fellow Archbridge Institute
James J. Heckman has devoted his professional life to understanding the origins of major social and economic problems related to inequality, social mobility, discrimination, skill formation and regulation, and to devising and evaluating alternative strategies for addressing those problems. His work is rooted in economics, but he actively collaborates across disciplines to get to the heart of major problems. His recent interdisciplinary research on human development and skill formation over the life cycle draws on economics, psychology, genetics, epidemiology, and neuroscience to examine the origins of inequality, the determinants of social mobility, and the links among stages of the life cycle, starting in the womb. Heckman has a BA (1965) in Mathematics from Colorado College and an MA (1968) and PhD (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 and also holds an appointment at the Law School at the University of Chicago. In May 2014, he launched the Center for the Economics of Human Development at the University of Chicago which he directs. In 2000, Heckman shared 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. He 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, most recently from University College London in 2013, and is a foreign member of Academica Sinica and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He is currently co-editor of the Journal of Political Economy. He has published over 300 articles and 9 books. His most recent book is The Myth of Achievement Tests: The GED and the Role of Character in American Life (University of Chicago Press, 2014). He is actively engaged in conducting and guiding empirical and theoretical research on skill development, inequality, and social mobility
Russ Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. Russ hosts the weekly podcast EconTalk which has over 700 episodes and consists of hour-long conversations with leading and influential thinkers. Past guests include Milton Friedman, James Heckman, Daron Acemoglu, Thomas Piketty, Angela Duckworth, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and Michael Lewis among many others. His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have recieved more than eleven million views on YouTube, have been subtitled in eleven languages, and are used in high school and college classrooms around the world. His animated poem, It’s a Wonderful Loaf, is an ode to the emergent order of our everyday lives. His video series The Numbers Game looks at the challenges of measuring economic progress accurately. His latest book is Gambling With Other People’s Money: How Perverse Incentives Caused the Financial Crisis. Roberts explores the role that past bailouts played in the risk-taking that led to the financial crisis of 2008. In How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (Portfolio/Penguin 2014), Roberts takes the lessons from Adam Smith’s little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and applies them to modern life.He is also the author of three economic novels teaching economic lessons and ideas through fiction. A three-time teacher of the year, Roberts has taught at George Mason University, Washington University in St. Louis (where he was the founding director of what is now the Center for Experiential Learning), the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his PhD from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Scott Winship, Ph.D.Advisor
Scott Winship is a resident scholar and the director of poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he researches social mobility and the causes and effects of poverty. He also focuses on economic insecurity and inequality, among other poverty issues. Before joining AEI, Dr. Winship served as the executive director of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC). During his time at the JEC, under Chairman Mike Lee (R-UT), Dr. Winship created the Social Capital Project, a multiyear research project to investigate the evolving nature of social relationships including families, communities, workplaces, and religious congregations. Dr. Winship was also a visiting fellow at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, where he is still an honorary member of the board of advisers; a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; a fellow in the economic studies department of the Brookings Institution; and the research manager of the Economic Mobility Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts. Dr. Winship also served as a senior policy adviser at Third Way and the managing editor at The Democratic Strategist. Dr. Winship has testified before Congress and has been widely published in the popular press, including in National Affairs, National Review, The American Prospect, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Dr. Winship has a PhD in social policy and a MA in sociology from Harvard University. He holds a BA in sociology and urban studies from Northwestern University.