harvard economist raj chetty, 2012 macarthur fellow

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harvard economist raj chetty, 2012 macarthur fellow

Post  WillyNilly on Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:09 am

professor raj chetty of harvard university is one of 23 exceptional people who were awarded the $500,000 macarthur fellowship for 2012 today. he is about 30 years old, and became a tenured professor at 27. he has specialized in public policy economics. here's some interesting info about him:

Mr. Chetty also found early success. He was a tenured professor of economics at Harvard by the age of 27. He was born in New Delhi; his high-achieving family came to Milwaukee when he was 9. His two older sisters are college professors, his mother is a pediatric pulmonologist, and his father is an economist.

He was having lunch with his mother when the MacArthur phone call came. “She was very excited,” he said. “She was happy that we moved here, and things turned out so well.”

Mr. Chetty took part in two studies that have made headlines because they sought to quantify the value of good teachers. One released this year, conducted with economists at Harvard and Columbia, tracked one million students in a large urban school district over 20 years and calculated that replacing an average teacher with an excellent one would raise a single classroom’s lifetime earnings by about $1.4 million. Good teachers who lifted standardized test scores also had students less likely to become teenage parents and more likely to attend a good college, among other positive results.

“I’m motivated to ask these questions about why some students have good outcomes and some do not by reading the paper or observing the real world,” Mr. Chetty said. “At a broad level government policies can impact people’s lives, but we often don’t have the scientific evidence.”

He is already immersed in his next project, which explores what factors allow children to move up the economic ladder, relative to their parents.

-- the new york times.

read about other 2012 macarthur fellows at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/02/arts/macarthur-fellows-named-for-2012.html?_r=0

according to mr. chetty,

Based on the predictive value of future educational accomplishment, earnings, and general happiness, a good kindergarten teacher's contribution to society should be valued at about $320,000 a year.*
-- esquire magazine

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/features/brightest-2010/raj-chetty-1210

i wonder if raj chetty is related to shanmukham chetty, india's first finance minister. his father, i understand, is a professor of health economics at boston university.

* wow! i'm so glad someone estimated a numerical value; i had always suspected it would be of such an order of magnitude. i think they're paid about $40,000 or $50,000 these days.


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Re: harvard economist raj chetty, 2012 macarthur fellow

Post  Ramesh Sinha on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:07 pm

While his study on dividend taxes was influential, Chetty hopes to have his greatest impact in another area: social programs that help cushion risk. In a study entitled “Consumption Commitments and Risk Preferences,” published this year in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Chetty and Berkeley colleague Adam Szeidl contest the popular belief among economists that unemployment insurance is too generous. George Akerlof, who also teaches at Berkeley and won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001, describes Chetty’s insight in the study as revolutionary. “He had a new way of looking at the problems of the unemployed,” Akerlof says. “Raj emphasized that they find it very difficult to meet their prior commitments. For example, they must pay their rent or their mortgage, and these commitments very much add to the difficulties of being unemployed. Economists were just not thinking of that until Raj came up with it. This is a very big innovation in the theory of unemployment.”

http://www.american.com/archive/2007/september-october-magazine-contents/the-experimenter


I wonder what is so innovative about it. It is very obvious. Is it not. If a man is unemployed, he does not have revenue to pay his mortgage or rent. So the unemployed man is going to be cautious and avoid taking any risk.
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Re: harvard economist raj chetty, 2012 macarthur fellow

Post  Ramesh Sinha on Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:38 pm

Dr. Chetty has answered my question here:

http://specials.rediff.com/money/2007/oct/25sld2.htm
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