Edward P. Lazear

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Edward Paul Lazear, Morris Arnold Cox Senior Fellow

Expertise: Labor economics, industrial relations, microeconomics Edward P. Lazear, Morris Arnold Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, succeeded Ben Bernanke as chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors in February of 2006. He was formerly a member of President Bush's advisory Tax Reform Panel, where he worked with nine other panel members to look into revenue-neutral policy options for reforming the Federal Internal Revenue Code.

Lazear is the Jack Steele Parker Professor of Human Resources, Management and Economics (1995) at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he has taught since 1992. He taught previously at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, where he was the Brown Professor of Urban and Labor Economics. Founding editor of the Journal of Labor Economics, he is also an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2000), the Econometric Society, and the Society of Labor Economists. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Board on Testing and Assessment. His research is currently supported by the National Science Foundation. Lazear was the first vice-president and president of the Society of Labor Economists.

His book Personnel Economics (MIT Press, 1995) expands on his 1993 Wicksell Lectures. He edited Economic Transition in Eastern Europe and Russia: Realities of Reform (Hoover Institution Press, 1995). Coauthor or coeditor of four other books, Lazear's newest edited volume is Education in the Twenty-first Century (Hoover Institution Press, 2002). He also edited the textbook Personnel Economics for Managers (Wiley, 1998). Other recent publications include Culture Wars in America (Hoover Essays in Public Policy, 1996).

Among his more than one hundred published papers, the following are of special note: "The Peter Principle: A Theory of Decline," Journal of Political Economy (2004); "Economic Imperialism," for the millennium issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics (2000); "Culture and Language," Journal of Political Economy (12/99); "Educational Production," Quarterly Journal of Economics (2001), "Performance, Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review (12/00); "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," with Eugene Kandel, Journal of Political Economy (8/92); "Labor Economics and the Psychology of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives (Spring 1991); "Job Security Provisions and Employment," Quarterly Journal of Economics (8/90); "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy (6/89); "Salaries and Piece Rates," Journal of Business (7/86); "Retail Pricing and Clearance Sales," American Economic Review (3/86); "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," with Sherwin Rosen, Journal of Political Economy (10/81); "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?" Journal of Political Economy (12/79); "Personnel Economics: Past Lessons and Future Direction," Presidential Address to the Society of Labor Economists, Journal of Labor Economics (1999); and "Globalization and the Market for Teammates," Frank Paish Memorial Lecture to the Royal Economic Society, Warwick, England, Economic Journal (1999).

A past visiting professor at the Institutes for Advanced Study in Vienna and Jerusalem, the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris, and the Center for the Study of New Institutional Economics at the University of Saarlandes in Germany, Lazear has also lectured by invitation at other premier institutions worldwide, including Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, England, Spain, Australia, and India. A frequent keynote speaker, he was the Astra-Erikkson Lecturer and the 1993 Wicksell Lecturer in Stockholm, Sweden. He received the Distinguished Teaching Award from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business in 1994, was named the Michael and Monica Spence Faculty Fellow in 2000–2001, and received the Distinguished Service Award from Stanford University in 2002. He has an honorary doctorate from Albertson College of Idaho and delivered the 2002 UCLA Commencement Address. Lazear was awarded the 1998 Leo Melamed Biennial Prize for outstanding research and the 2003 Adam Smith Prize from the European Association of Labor Economists. In the fall of 2004, Lazear was awarded the 2004 Prize in Labor Economics from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn.

Born in 1948, Professor Lazear grew up in Los Altos, California. He received his A.B. and A.M. degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He lives in Portola Valley with his wife and daughter.

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  1. Advisory Board, George W. Bush Institute, accessed April 20, 2010.