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Richard Zeckhauser Photo
Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy
Assistant: Wendy Wyatt

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 300 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.

Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles


Book Chapters

HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series

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Outside Professional Activities For Richard Zeckhauser

Outside Organization Name:  Equity Resource Investments

Outside Organization sector/business/purpose:  real estate investment company

Faculty member's specific role and subject matter:  principal and advisor on strategies for making investments

Dates:  2011 -




Outside Organization Name:  Bigelow Company

Outside Organization sector/business/purpose:  investment company

Faculty member's specific role and subject matter:  gave lecture on behavioral decision

Date:  September 2011



Outside Organization Name:  Cambridge Associates

Outside Organization sector/business/purpose:  investment advisor company

Faculty member's specific role and subject matter:  gave lectures on behavioral decision

Dates:  September-October 2012



Commonwealth School

Outside Organization sector/business/purpose:  private secondary school

Faculty member's specific role and subject matter:  Executive Committee / Board Member

Dates:   1995 -



Phone: 617-495-1174
Assistant: Wendy Wyatt


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Business & Regulation
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