James Heckman, Clark Medalist 1983

Citation on the Occasion of the Presentation of the Medal

James Heckman's research has changed the face of labor economics, econometrics, and demography. His work on panel data and selection problems has set the standard for analysis of microeconomic crosssection, time-series data. His treatment of dynamic models, clarifying the observable implications of heterogeneity and state dependence, has advanced our understanding of economic phenomena regarding durations, particularly the duration of unemployment. The technique he originally proposed for handling the selection problem in analyzing wage rates of women, adding an estimated hazard rate term to compensate for the nonzero conditional mean of the disturbance in the selected data, has become so universal that econometrics students are routinely taught how to "heckit" regression equations. His recent work on nonparametric problems associated with the analysis of longitudinal data is on the frontier of statistics, and has deep implications for econometrics. His innovations promise to be of lasting importance in economics and across the social sciences.