John List

Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics

About John

John List received his PhD from the University of Wyoming and is currently the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago after positions at the University of Central Florida, the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland. John has been at the forefront of environmental economics and has served as senior economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisors for Environmental and Resource Economics. John is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), and a University Fellow at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. However, John is best known as one of the world's leading experts on experimental economics.

John has pioneered work using field experiments in which he developed scientific methods for testing economic theory directly in the marketplace. He received the Kenneth Galbraith Award in 2010 and 2008 Arrow Prize for Senior Economists for his research on Behavioral Economics in the field. To obtain data for his field experiments, he has made use of several different markets including countless charitable fundraising activities, the Chicago Board of Trade, Costa Rican CEOs, the new automobile market, sports memorabilia markets, coin markets, auto repair markets, open air markets located throughout the globe, various venues on the internet, several auction settings, shopping malls, various labor markets, and grammar and high schools. His work has provided insight on such issues as pricing behavior, market structure, the valuation of non-marketed goods and services, the impact of environmental regulation, the economics of charitable giving and the impact of incentives on education and weight loss.

Recently, John has been involved in creating an experimental laboratory that will bear fruit in the education literature for years to come. John, along with Chicago economist Steven Levitt and Harvard economist Roland Fryer, and funded generously by Chicago philanthropists Kenneth and Anne Griffin, is establishing the Griffin Early Childhood Center. This program will focus on understanding how best to educate the nation's youth. Additionally, John continues to be active in the field of environmental economics with recent field experiments on environmental technology adoption.

Popular Press


NYT - When Not Paying Attention Pays Off
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Testing Theory

UChicago Social Sciences
UChicago News
Trading changes how brain processes selling decisions
Interview with the Austrian Press

Charitable Giving

The Wall Street Journal: Week in Ideas
NY Times and Charitable Giving
Tyler Cowen in the New York Times
NBER Reporter
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Chronicle of Philanthropy
Chicago Business
Chicago Business - Business of Life
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Health Canal
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Times of India
MSN Lifestyle
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
The Wall Street Journal: What gets people to give?
MS Business Journal: Characteristics of a good year-end fundraising letter
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Corriere della Sera
Interview with the Austrian Press
Why Trump’s Election Was a Financial Boon for Some Nonprofits
John List named Visiting Hartsook Chair in Fundraising

Experiments in Firms

Financial Times - Experiments in Firms
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University of Chicago Magazine
Chicago Chronicle
Chicago Maroon
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Finding Energy Efficiency in an Unexpected Place – The Cockpit
Behavioural economics can nudge pilots into boosting fuel and carbon efficiency, finds Virgin Atlantic study
Virgin Atlantic is using new behavioral science research to train pilots to save fuel
Interview with the Austrian Press
Harvard Business Review: How to nudge employees to conserve energy.


Hechinger Report
The Economist
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Griffin Grant - Chicago Maroon
Chicago Heights Griffin Grant
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (German)
The University of Chicago: Finding new insights with experimental economics
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Huffpost Education
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The Atlantic
National Review Online
The British Psychological Society
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Education Week
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Chicago Sun-Times
IIP Digital | U.S. Dept. of State
BBC News
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Corriere della Sera
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Public Policy

Folha -- Para Entender Direito(Portuguese) (Mirror)
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Corriere della Sera
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Berkeley Press Release: Voting to tell others.
California Today: What to watch for on election day.
Harvard Business Review: How to nudge employees to conserve energy.


A bonus payment for every leaf (or piece) of spinach -- also economists are parents. And they know how to make their kids eating healthy food.
Nudges: Greased palms and dried fruit
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Gender and Competition

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Gender and Competition
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Medical News Today
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Vox-Origins of Dishonisty
Agenda-Why are women more honest?
HKS-Do women avoid salary negotiations?
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Corriere della Sera
Interview with the Austrian Press