John A. List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, and Chairman of the Department of Economics. He received his B.S. in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wyoming. Before joining the University of Chicago in 2005, he was a professor at the University of Central Florida, University of Arizona, and University of Maryland. He also served in the White House on the Council of Economic Advisers from 2002-2003, and is a Research Associate at the NBER.
List was elected a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011, and a Fellow of the Econometric Society in 2015. He also received the Arrow Prize for Senior Economists in 2008, the Kenneth Galbraith Award in 2010, the Yrjo Jahnsson Lecture Prize in 2012, and the Klein Lecture Prize in 2016. He has received an honorary doctorate from Tilburg University in 2014, and from the University of Ottawa in 2017, and was named a Top 50 Innovator in the Non-Profit Times for 2015 and 2016 for his work on charitable giving.
His research focuses on questions in microeconomics, with a particular emphasis on using field experiments to address both positive and normative issues. For decades his field experimental research has focused on issues related to the inner-workings of markets, the effects of various incentives schemes on market equilibria and allocations, and how behavioral economics can augment the standard economic model. This includes research into why inner city schools fail, why people discriminate, why people give to charity, why firms fail, why women make less money than men in labor markets, and why people generally do what they do.
His research includes over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and several published books, including the 2013 international best-seller, The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life (with Uri Gneezy).