Society Of Labor Economists Names New Prize For Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Edward P. Lazear

Friday, October 23, 2020
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Edward Lazear, the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover I

Edward P. Lazear

The Society of Labor Economists (SOLE) has announced a new prize named in honor of Edward P. Lazear, the Hoover Institution’s Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow.

The annual Edward P. Lazear Prize, to be first awarded in 2022, will recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of labor economics, devoted a portion of their careers for the benefit of civil society, and actively helped shape public policy.

In a statement about the prize, SOLE’s board of directors praised Lazear for founding the subfield of personnel economics and for his writing on major policy issues that impact the economy of labor, such as entrepreneurship, immigration, language, and sales.

The board commended Lazear for important contributions to the profession, including his proposal to create the Journal of Labor Economics and to serve as its founding editor. In 1996, Lazear devised the concept of the Society of Labor Economists and framed SOLE’s bylaws.  He subsequently became SOLE’s first vice president and then president.

“Eddie has made enormous research contributions to economics and, in particular, to labor economics, but he has also strengthened the field's critical infrastructure, first by creating the Journal of Labor Economics, and then by founding the Society of Labor Economics. Thanks to Eddie's efforts and vision, the Society has grown to play a key role in the exchange of ideas and research in labor economics. It is remarkable that he has also found the time and energy to contribute to civil society. The award will be unique in recognizing outstanding researchers who, like Eddie, have played a larger role in the profession and society,” said Kevin Lang, president-elect of the Society of Labor Economists.

SOLE’s board of directors also noted Lazear’s most prominent role in government, when from 2006 to 2009 he served as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and played a central role in crafting the government’s policy response to the global financial crisis of 2007–8.

“Few if any honors dominate having a prize named after a person.  The naming signifies that the institution, in this case The Society of Labor Economists, decided that they wanted to celebrate my contributions to economics in general and labor economics particular.  In this case, it is especially relevant to the Hoover mission because the prize is for scholarship, contributions to the economics profession and contributions to civil society.  These are the attributes of the ideal Hoover scholar so by focusing on these contributions, they also emphasize the complementarity between the prize and that of Hoover’s mission,” Lazear said.

Lazear first joined the Hoover Institution as a senior fellow in 1985 and became a professor at Stanford University in 1992. His Stanford appointments include as professor of human resources management and economics (1992–2017) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and as Davies Family Professor of Economics, a position he has held since 2017.  Lazear previously served in various academic posts at the University of Chicago in the fields of industrial relations and economics. 

Lazear has written numerous books, including Personnel Economics (MIT Press, 1995) and is the recipient of numerous honors and prizes, including the 1998 Leo Melamed Biennial Prize for the best research by a business school professor, the 2004 Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Labor Economics from the Institute for the Study of Labor, the 2006 Jacob Mincer Prize for lifetime achievement in the field of labor economics, the 1994 Distinguished Teaching Award from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, and the 2002 Distinguished Service Award from Stanford University.

Lazear holds AB and AM degrees from the University of California—Los Angeles and a PhD from Harvard University.

Click here for Edward P. Lazear’s full biography.

Click here for information about the Society of Labor Economists (SOLE).