Rice University: Rice to host James Heckman for RISE Nobel Laureate Lecture Series

Nobel laureate James Heckman, best known for his work on how early childhood development impacts health, economic and social outcomes, will be the featured speaker at the next Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics (RISE) Nobel Laureate Lecture Series event Nov. 4.

Heckman’s lecture, “Interactions as Investments,” will take place at 5 p.m. in the BioScience Research Collaborative Auditorium. Under Rice COVID-19 protocols, masks are required.

Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, won the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel McFadden of the University of California, Berkeley. They were honored for theoretical and empirical work in microeconometrics that is widely used in the statistical analysis of individual and household behavior within economics and other disciplines.

Heckman is the second-most-influential economist in the world, according to rankings compiled by Research Papers in Economics. He is also the recipient of numerous other prestigious awards in his field, including the John Bates Clark Medal from by the American Economic Association for significant contributions to economic thought and knowledge by an economist under 40, and the Society of Labor Economics’ Jacob Mincer Award for lifetime contributions in the field.

At the University of Chicago, Heckman directs the Center for the Economics of Human Development, where he has conducted groundbreaking work with economists, developmental psychologists, sociologists, statisticians and neuroscientists showing there are great economic benefits from investing in early childhood development. He has collaborated on some of this research with Flávio Cunha, the Ervin K. Zingler Chair in Rice’s Department of Economics. Together with Susanne Schennach at Brown University, they won the Econometric Society’s 2014 Frisch Medal their publication, “Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation.”