Raj Chetty

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Raj Chetty
Chetty 2012 hi-res-download 2.jpg
Born (1979-08-04) August 4, 1979 (age 35)
New Delhi, India
Nationality United States (naturalized)
Institution Harvard University
University of California, Berkeley
Field Public economics
Alma mater Harvard University (Ph.D., 2003; A.B., 2000)
Awards John Bates Clark Medal (2013)
Information at IDEAS/RePEc

Nadarajan "Raj" Chetty (born August 4, 1979) is an Indian American economist. He is a professor of economics at Harvard University, a specialist in the field of public economics. His research concentrates on empirical evidence and economic theory in order to help design more effective government policies. Chetty's recent studies concerned equality of opportunity in the United States[1] and long-term impact of teachers on students' performance.[2] Chetty was offered tenure at the age of 28 and accepted at 29, becoming one of the youngest people to do so in the history of Harvard's economics department. He is a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal and a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.[3] Currently, he is also an editor of Journal of Public Economics.[4]

Education and early career[edit]

Chetty was born in New Delhi, India, and lived there until the age of nine. His family immigrated to the United States in 1988. After graduating from the University School of Milwaukee, Chetty received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in 2000 and went on to receive his Ph.D. in 2003, with thesis titled Consumption commitments, risk preferences, and optimal unemployment insurance[5] also from Harvard.[6] As an undergraduate sophomore, Chetty was told by his mentor Martin Feldstein to pursue his own ideas after proposing a counterintuitive idea that higher interest rates sometimes lead to higher investment.[7] In 2003, at the age of 23, Chetty became an assistant professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, becoming a tenured associate professor there at 27.[7] In 2009, Chetty returned to teach at his alma mater, earning tenure at the age of 29, and where he is a professor of economics and the director of the Lab for Economic Applications and Policy.[6]


Chetty published over 100 papers, many of them in renowned journals, such as QJE, AER, JPE and Econometrica. In a recent study on long-term impact of teachers on students' performance assessed by test scores Chetty in cooperation with John Friedman and Johah Rockoff concluded that test-score based value-added measures are one useful input into identifying great teachers.[2]


In 2008, The Economist listed Chetty as one of the top eight young economists in the world.[8] Chetty is among the most cited young economists in the world.[9] In 2010, he received the Young Labor Economist Award from the Institute for the Study of Labor for his paper "Moral Hazard Versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance" in the Journal of Political Economy.[10] In 2012, he was one of 23 fellows to receive $500,000 over the following five years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as a recipient of one of the Foundation's 'Genius Grants'.[3]

Chetty is the recipient of the 2013 John Bates Clark Medal, awarded by the American Economic Association to "that American economist under the age of forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge."

In the landmark lawsuit, Vergara vs. California, Chetty offered testimony supporting the plaintiffs’ key points: that teacher quality has a direct impact on students’ achievements and that the current dismissal and seniority statutes have disparate impact on minority and low-income students.[11]



External links[edit]