VŠE Will Award Honorary Doctorate to Prof. John A. List /16. 5./

John August List, the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago will be awarded an honorary degree on May 16, 2022 at the Prague University of Economics and Business (VŠE). Professor List is a world-renowned scientist in the field of experimental and behavioral economics and one of today’s leading world intellectuals, who was also shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in 2015. Herbert A. Simon (1978), Richard Thaler (2017), and Daniel Kahneman shared with Vernon Smith (2002) have already received this award for their contributions in related or similar fields of economics. So, it is just matter of time until Professor List is awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.

In addition to academic recognition, his scientific work brings about substantial real-world implications. He is considered to be the founder of the field experiment, a scientific method of experimental investigation, which aims to analyze interventions in the real world instead of a laboratory environment, which has made him famous around the world. In his research he focuses on a wide range of economic problems with far-reaching social consequences, especially in the fields of philanthropy, education, corporate pricing behavior, discrimination, environmental economics, financial markets, the provision of public goods and the role of the market in developing rationality.

The Honorary Doctorate is awarded by the Prague University of Economics and Business to distinguished representatives of Czech and international science and practice, especially in economics. On the proposal of the Scientific Council of the Faculty of Economics, the Scientific Council of the Prague University of Economics and Business decided in November 2019 to award the title of “Doctor oeconomiae honoris causa” to Professor John List. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony can only take place now.

The honorary doctorate will be awarded by the Rector of the Prague University of Economics and Business and the ceremony will take place at 11 am on Monday, May 13, 2022, in the Vencovský Auditorium of the Prague University of Economics and Business (W. Churchill Square 4, Prague 3 – Žižkov). All academic representatives of the VŠE, other universities, distinguished guests from organizations and institutions, students, alumni, and the general public are invited to the ceremony. Professor List will also give a speech at the ceremony.

If you are interested in attending the ceremony, please register via online form.



About John List and his scientific work

Professor List received his B.S. in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wyoming. Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 2005, he was professor at the University of Central Florida, the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland. At the same time, he served in the White House on the Council of Economic Advisers for environmental issues from 2002-2003. During his research career he has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Economic Literature, the Journal of Political Economy, Experimental Economics and others. He has also published ten books, the latest being “The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale” in 2022, which gives theoretical and empirical insights concerning the “science of using science”.

Another interesting book by Professor List is “Field Experiments” written in 2018 in collaboration with Anya Samek. In 2013 he wrote the book “The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life” (with Uri Gneezy), which became an international bestseller. This book is based on field experiments, targeting hidden incentives that influence the economic behavior of individuals. The book addresses social and economic problems “in the wild” at schools and in companies, where people have no idea that they are being observed. Among the topics examined, for instance, are discrimination and corporate pricing behavior.

List served as Head of the Department of Economics at University of Chicago from 2012-2018, where he still holds the position of Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor. He is also a Research Fellow of the Econometric Society, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Research, a Research Associate at the NBER, and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor Economics (IZA). Professor List was named among the top 25 behavioral economists by the Association of TheBestSchools.org. According to RePEc, (Research Papers in Economics), Professor List was the top ranked economist worldwide of the 40,000 economists who graduated in the last 20 years.

The results of Professor List’s research provide practical implications in charitable and educational fields and many others. In 2009, Crain’s Chicago Business magazine referred to List as a “rock star” in philanthropy for his contribution in the field of motivators, which can increase the effectiveness of charitable fundraising. Professor List’s findings in the field of behavioral economics, where framing can increase work productivity, have been applied successfully in multiple corporations across the world. In the field of education research, in 2009 he won a $10 million grant to study the returns to pre-school education and to test the impact of performance pay for teachers by founding a pre-school called The Griffin Early Childhood Center.