NBER Reporter: Fall 2000
NBER Researchers Share Nobel Prize in Economics
NBER Research Associates James J. Heckman of the University of Chicago and
Daniel L. McFadden of the University of California, Berkeley, will share the 2000 Nobel
Prize in Economics.
Heckman, who has been affiliated with the NBER since 1987 and is a member of
the Programs in Labor Studies, Public Economics, and Children, was awarded the prize
for his pioneering work in accounting for unknown factors affecting statistical samples.
Much of his work has been applied to understanding how early life events contribute to
individuals' later earnings potential and economic status.
McFadden, who has been affiliated with the NBER since 1985 and is a member
of the Program on Aging, was cited for his work on a new theory of "discrete choice" --
a way to measure how an individual's decisions about occupation or housing, for
instance, reflect choices among a limited number of alternatives.
These two now join a long list of NBER researchers who have received the Prize,
including: Robert C. Merton and Myron S. Scholes, 1997; Robert E. Lucas, Jr., 1995;
and Robert W. Fogel, 1993. Other NBER researchers who have won the Nobel Prize in
Economics are Simon S. Kuznets, Milton Friedman, Theodore W. Schultz, George J.
Stigler, and Gary S. Becker.