Business of Government Hour

How to make good ideas great and great ideas scale: A conversation with John List

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The Business of Government Hour, hosted by Michael J. Keegan, features a conversation with government executives and thought leaders who are changing the way government does business. The show explores topics such as leadership, management, technology, innovation, public service, as well as the mission of government in the 21st century.

ON THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

What is the Voltage Effect? Why do some ideas fail while others change the world? What are the five hurdles one must clear to ensure the vitality of an idea? Why should policymakers move from evidence-based policy to policy-based evidence? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Professor John List, author of The Voltage Effect and Economist at the University of Chicago.

LISTEN TO THE FULL SHOW:

GUEST BIOGRAPHY:

John A. List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. He received his B.S. in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wyoming. List joined the UChicago faculty in 2005, and served as Chairman of the Department of Economics from 2012-2018. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he was a professor at the University of Central Florida, University of Arizona, and University of Maryland.

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 is currently the Visiting Robert F. Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He received the Arrow Prize for Senior Economists in 2008, the Kenneth Galbraith Award in 2010, the Yrjo Jahnsson Lecture Prize in 2012, the Klein Lecture Prize in 2016, and the Hartsook Growing Philanthropy Award in 2017. He received an honorary doctorate from Tilburg University in 2014 and from the University of Ottawa in 2017. John was also named a Top 50 Innovator in the Non-Profit Times for 2015 and 2016 for his work on charitable giving. He served in the White House on the Council of Economic Advisers from 2002-2003 and is a Research Associate at the NBER, a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), a University Fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF), and a University Fellow at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

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, how behavioral economics can augment the standard economic model, on early childhood education and interventions, and most recently on the gender earnings gap in the gig economy (using evidence from rideshare drivers).

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).

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