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About the Author(s)

Matthew J. Wiswall400x460.jpg

Matthew J. Wiswall is the Juli Plant Grainger Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a research associate affiliated with the NBER’s Program on Children.

Wiswall is an applied microeconomist who conducts research on child development, education, and applied econometric methodologies. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education, the William T. Grant Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation. It has been published in leading periodicals including the Journal of Political Economy, The Review of Economic Studies, and The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Wiswall is an associate editor for Econometrica and Quantitative Economics, and an affiliate of UW-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for Demography and Ecology, and Center for Financial Security. He received his PhD in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2005, and previously has held faculty positions at New York University and Arizona State University.

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Basit Zafar is a professor of economics at the University of Michigan and a research associate in the NBER’s Labor Studies Program. He is an applied microeconomist whose research is focused on labor economics, economics of education, and household finance. Specifically, his work seeks to understand how individuals make decisions under conditions of uncertainty.

Zafar’s research employs a disparate set of empirical methods and techniques, including the use of survey-based subjective expectations data and experimental data. He has published in several leading economics and finance journals. He is an associate editor at the Journal of the European Economic Association and serves on the advisory board of the NBER’s Gender in the Economy Study Group. Zafar received his PhD from Northwestern University in 2008, and his BSc from the California Institute of Technology. Before joining the faculty at Michigan, he held positions at Arizona State University and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


1. Figures 1 and 2 are taken from “Human Capital Investments and Expectations about Career and Family,” Wiswall M, Zafar B. Journal of Political Economy 129(5), 2021, pp. 1361–1424.   Go to ⤴︎
2. Determinants of College Major Choice: Identification Using an Information Experiment,” Review of Economic Studies 82(2), 2015, pp. 791–824. See also “How Do College Students Respond to Public Information about Earnings?” Wiswall M, Zafar B. Journal of Human Capital 9(2), 2015, pp. 117–169.   Go to ⤴︎
3. Human Capital Investments and Expectations about Career and Family,” Wiswall M, Zafar B. Journal of Political Economy 129(5), 2021, pp. 1361–1424.   Go to ⤴︎
4. Preferences and Biases in Educational Choices and Labor Market Expectations: Shrinking the Black Box of Gender,” Reuben E, Wiswall M, Zafar B. Economic Journal 127(604), 2017, pp. 2153–2186. See also our recent paper with Arpita Patnaik and Joanna Venator: “The Role of Heterogeneous Risk Preferences, Discount Rates, and Earnings Expectations in College Major Choice,” Patnaik A, Venator J, Wiswall M, Zafar B. forthcoming, Journal of Econometrics.     Go to ⤴︎
5. Preference for the Workplace, Investment in Human Capital, and Gender,” Wiswall M, Zafar B. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 133(1), 2018, pp. 457–507.   Go to ⤴︎

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