March 30, 1995
Vol. 14, No. 14

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    Distinguished Service Professorship to Heckman

    James Heckman, the Henry Schultz Professor in Economics and in the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, has been appointed to a Distinguished Service Professorship.

    Heckman, a prominent scholar of the impact of social programs and the methodologies used to measure their effects, has been a University faculty member since 1973. He has been the Henry Schultz Professor since 1985.

    "As a fellow economist, I have long had great admiration for Jim Heckman's work," said President Sonnenschein. "Jim has consistently chosen problems of great importance and relevance, and he has brought to bear on those problems the very best in statistical and econometric techniques -- techniques which in many instances he developed himself. The U of C is very proud to have him on its faculty."

    Heckman's research has given policy-makers important new insights in such areas as education, job-training programs, minimum-wage legislation, anti-discrimination law and civil rights. He is the author of Longitudinal Analysis of Labor Market Data (1985) and numerous articles on labor, education and civil-rights policies.

    In the early 1990s, his pioneering research on the outcomes of people who obtain the General Education Development (GED) certificate received national attention. His findings -- which show that men in their mid to late 20s who obtained GEDs in the 1980s are not much more successful economically than high school dropouts -- spurred debates across the country on the merits of obtaining the certificate.

    Heckman is currently engaged in a path-breaking study of the impact of the Job Training Partnership Act -- a federal job-training program implemented in 1983 -- on program participants and on the economy. He also is researching the effectiveness of government job-training programs in comparison with private training programs.

    He received his B.A. in 1965 from Colorado College, his M.A. in 1968 and his Ph.D. in 1971 from Princeton, and a second M.A. in 1989 from Yale. He has served on the faculties at Yale, Columbia and NYU. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1992.

    The Henry Schultz Professorship was established in 1966 in honor of Schultz, a noted economist, who was a University faculty member from 1926 until his untimely death in 1938.