March 26, 2015

Using Field Experiments to Make the World a Better Place

Dr. John A. List, University of Chicago

Life is a lab. That is the view of John List, this year’s distinguished lecturer. In his lecture, List showcases some of his recent field experiments that shed insights on why women earn less money than men, why inner city schools continue to fail, why people discriminate, and how we can use field experiments to make the world a better place.  His experiences range from conducting large-scale governmental field experiments in the UK and the US to experiments on Craigslist that are essentially free.

John A. List received his PhD from the University of Wyoming and is currently the Homer J. Livingston Professor of Economics and the Chairman of the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. List has been at the forefront of environmental economics and has served as senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers for Environmental and Resource Economics. He is best known as one of the world’s leading experts on experimental economics. List has pioneered work using field experiments in which he developed scientific methods for testing economic theory directly in the marketplace.  Partnering with co-author Uri Gneezy, List recently wrote international best seller, The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life (2013, Harper Collins).