Raj Chetty

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Raj Chetty
Born (1979-08-04) August 4, 1979 (age 37)
New Delhi, India
Nationality United States (naturalized)
Institution Stanford University
Harvard University
University of California, Berkeley
Field Public economics
Alma mater Harvard University (Ph.D., 2003; A.B., 2000)
Martin Feldstein[1]
Awards MacArthur Fellowship (2012)
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 Stanford University, specializing in the field of public economics.[2] Some of Chetty's recent papers have studied equality of opportunity in the United States[3] and the long-term impact of teachers on students' performance.[4] Chetty previously taught at Harvard University, where he was offered tenure at the age of 28 and accepted at 29, becoming one of the youngest tenured faculty in the history of Harvard's economics department. He is a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal and a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.[5] Currently, he is also an advisory editor of the Journal of Public Economics.[6]

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. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2003,[7] with a thesis entitled Consumption commitments, risk preferences, and optimal unemployment insurance.[8] As a sophomore in college, 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.[9] 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.[9] In 2009, Chetty returned to Harvard, where he was the Bloomberg Professor of Economics and the director of the Lab for Economic Applications and Policy.[7] In 2015, Chetty moved to Stanford, where he became a professor in the Economics Department.[2]


In recent work with John Friedman and Jonah Rockoff, Chetty found that test-score based value-added measures are not substantially biased by unobserved student characteristics, and that the students of high value-added teachers have markedly better later-life outcomes.[4] Drawing on these findings, Chetty testified in the landmark case Vergara vs. California in support of 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.[10]

Chetty is also known for research showing that economic mobility varies enormously within the United States, and for work on the optimal level of unemployment benefits.


In 2008, The Economist and The New York Times listed Chetty as one of the top eight young economists in the world.[11] Chetty is among the most cited young economists in the world.[12] 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.[13] 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'.[5]

Chetty was 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."[14]

Chetty was awarded the Padma Shri, an award for distinguished service in any field, by the Government of India in 2015.[15]



External links[edit]