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Department of Economics

Distinguished Lecture on "Using Field Experiments to Make the World a Better Place"

Speaker Professor John A. List
Date 30 December 2019 (Monday)
Time 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Venue MBG01,
Patrick Lee Wan Keung Academic Building,
Lingnan University, Tuen Mun


Professor List uses field experiments to learn about the economics of life and to improve people's outcomes. He has generated data that has provided insights into many subsets of microeconomics including pricing behavior, discrimination in the marketplace, the valuation of non-marketed goods and services, public good provisioning, behavioral anomalies, charitable giving, auction theory, and the role of the market in the development of rationality. In this lecture, he will focus on how to use field experiments to make the world a better place through a wide range of issues, including charitable giving, education, lowering inequality and helping organizations as varied as Uber, Lyft and the UK government.


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.

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).