John A. List grew up in a working-class family in Wisconsin—where his father drove trucks for a living—and learned economics in hobby markets. Dr. List is the Homer J. Livingston Professor and Chairman in the Department of Economics at the University of Chicago. He also holds a position as a National Bureau of Economic Research Associate (NBER). John is a University Fellow at the Resources for the Future, a Research Fellow at IZA (Institute for the Study of Labor), and an Extramural Fellow at the Department of Economics, Tilburg. John has previously served as a Senior Economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors (2002-2004).
John has pioneered field experiments as a methodology for learning about behavioral principles that are shared across different domains. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed research publications, providing insights into charitable giving, public goods provision, and valuation of non-marketed goods and services. John received the 2010 Kenneth Galbraith Award and the 2008 Arrow Prize for Senior Economists for his research in behavioral economics in the field. Overall, data John has collected has provided insights into incentives for education, pricing behavior, discrimination in the marketplace, the valuation of non-marketed goods and services, public goods provision, and importantly, charitable giving. John’s research on philanthropy has been showcased in various media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Chronicle of Philanthropy, and the New York Times. John’s most recent book The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics Behind Everyday Life, co-authored with Uri Gneezy, has been praised by economists as a revolutionary take on behavioral economics because their findings rely on real evidence, not assumptions, about what truly works to change behavior.