Richard Zeckhauser

Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy
Harvard Kennedy School
Office Address
Littauer-312
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 41
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Contact
Phone: 617-495-1174
Fax: 617-384-9340
Email: richard_zeckhauser@Harvard.Edu
Assistant
Wendy Wyatt (617-495-1175)
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Profile

Richard Zeckhauser is the Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy, Kennedy School, Harvard University. He graduated from Harvard College (summa cum laude) and received his Ph.D. there. He is an elected fellow of the Econometric Society, the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014, he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association. His contributions to decision theory and behavioral economics include the concepts of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), status quo bias, betrayal aversion, and ignorance (states of the world unknown) as a complement to the categories of risk and uncertainty. Many of his policy investigations explore ways to promote the health of human beings, to help markets work more effectively, and to foster informed and appropriate choices by individuals and government agencies. Zeckhauser has published over 280 articles. His recent coauthored books are The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art (2008), and Collaborative Governance: Private Roles for Public Goals (2011). Apart from academics, Zeckhauser is a Senior Principal at Equity Resource Investments, a real estate private equity firm. He has won multiple national championships in contract bridge.

Courses

Fall

  • API-302 Analytic Frameworks for Policy
  • API-902 Doctoral Research Seminar

Media Expertise

Richard Zeckhauser welcomes media inquiries on the following subjects:

Additional experts may be found by clicking on each subject listed. You may contact faculty directly or if you need assistance contact the Communications Office at 617-495-1115.

Research

For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the HKS Faculty Research Connection.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
    • Friedman, Jeffrey A., and Richard Zeckhauser. "Why Assessing Estimative Accuracy is Feasible and Desirable." Intelligence and National Security (Published online, November 28, 2014).
    • Aperjis, Christina, Richard Zeckhauser, and Yali Miao. "Variable Temptations and Black Mark Reputations." Games & Economic Behavior 87 (September 2014): 70-90.
    • Viscusi, W. Kip, and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "The Relative Weights of Direct and Indirect Experiences in the Formation of Environmental Risk Beliefs." Risk Analysis (Published online, September 5, 2014).
    • Heutel, Garth, and Richard Zeckhauser. "The Investment Returns of Nonprofit Organizations: Part 1, Tales from 990 Forms." Nonprofit Management and Leadership 25.19 (Fall 2014): 41-57.
    • Heutel, Garth, and Richard Zeckhauser. "The Investment Returns of Nonprofit Organizations: Part II, The Value of Focused Attention." Nonprofit Management and Leadership 25.19 (Fall 2014): 59-75.
    • Kotowski, Maciej H., David A. Weisbach, and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "Rules and Standards when Compliance Costs are Private Information." Journal of Legal Studies 43.S2 (June 2014): S297-S329.
    • Friedman, Jeffrey A., and Richard Zeckhauser. "Handling and Mishandling Estimative Probability: Likelihood, Confidence, and the Search for Bin Laden." Intelligence and National Security (Published online, April 308, 2014): 77-99.
    • Kotowski, Maciej, David A. Weisbach, and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "Audits as Signals." University of Chicago Law Review 81.1 (February 2014): 179-202.
  • Books
    • Donahue, John D. and Richard J. Zeckhauser. Collaborative Governance: Private Roles for Public Goals in Turbulent Times. Princeton University Press, 2011.
    • Zeckhauser, Richard, and Jonathan K. Nelson. The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art. Princeton University Press, 2008.
    • Schuck, Peter H., and Richard Zeckhauser. Targeting in Social Programs: Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples. Brookings Institution, 2006.
    • Avery, Christopher, Andrew Fairbanks, and Richard Zeckhauser. The Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite. Harvard University Press, 2003.
  • HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
    • Druz, Marina, Alexander F. Wagner, and Richard Zeckhauser. "Tips and Tells from Managers: How Analysts and the Market Read Between the Lines of Conference Calls." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP15-006, February 2015.
    • Freeman, Mark C., Gernot Wagner, and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "Climate Sensitivity Uncertainty: When is Good News Bad?" HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP15-002, January 2015.
    • Wernerfelt, Nils, David Slusky, and Richard Zeckhauser. "Second Trimester Sunlight and Asthma: Evidence from Two Independent Studies." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP14-050, October 2014.
    • Rogers, Todd, Richard Zeckhauser, Francesca Gino, Maurice Schweitzer, and Mike Norton. "Artful Paltering: The Risks and Rewards of Using Truthful Statements to Mislead Others." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP14-045, September 2014.

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