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Edward Lazear


Former Chair, Council of Economic Advisors

Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Edward Lazear is a labor economist who is a founder of a field known as personnel economics. His research centers on employee incentives, promotions, compensation, and productivity in firms. He also has devoted study to culture and language, with an emphasis on explaining the rise in multiculturalism in the United States. Recent work includes an already widely known theory of educational production. His current research is on entrepreneurship, leadership, and its relation to personnel economics.

The Morris A. Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution since 1985, he is also the Jack Steele Parker Professor of Human Resources Management and Economics at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he has taught since 1992. Professor Lazear taught previously at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, where he was the Brown Professor of Urban and Labor Economics. Lazear served as Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and was at the White House from 2006 to 2009. In his position as the chief economic advisor to the President, he advised on a broad range of matters that involve both the macroeconomy and microeconomic issues. 

Founding Editor of the Journal of Labor Economics, Lazear is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Econometric Society, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is the former President of the Society of Labor Economists. Professor Lazear has written extensively on labor markets and personnel issues; microeconomic theory; issues involving worker compensation and effects on productivity; governmental policies on discrimination, affirmative action, and comparable worth; educational policy; unemployment; culture, language, and diversity issues; the doctrine of employment at will; distribution of income within the household; and pricing and marketing policies. He has over 100 published articles and eleven books. 

Born in 1948, Professor Lazear grew up in Los Altos, California. He received his AB and AM degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his PhD from Harvard University in economics