John List Talks to Crain's for The Takeaway

This U of C Professor and Adviser to Lyft Has Lived a Little

John List is the Kenneth C. Griffin distinguished service professor in economics at the University of Chicago (on leave 2018-19) and in May 2018 became chief economic adviser for ride-hailing company Lyft. List, 50, and his wife, Dana Suskind, also co-direct the TMW Center for Early Learning & Public Health at U of C. Married in September, they live in Hyde Park and have eight children, combined, ages 13 to 19.

Describe your life, in a nutshell.

I go out into the real world and use it as my laboratory. I gather data to test economic or behavioral economic theories.

Such as?

How can we lower the racial achievement gap? Why do men earn more money than women? What would make Lyft drivers and passengers happier?

Craziest research moment?

I drank goat's blood with the chief of a patriarchal village in Tanzania during a recent research trip to study early childhood and gender disparity in income. It was kind of gross, but I took one for the team.


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