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Guest Lecture: Professor Daniel HamermeshThe Nature of Discrimination

Page updated 20 Sep 2007

Slides, abstract and papers from Professor Daniel Hamermesh's Guest Lecture presented at the Treasury on 13 June 2005.

Professor Daniel Hamermesh

University of Texas at Austin

Daniel S. Hamermesh is Edward Everett Hale Centennial Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. His A.B. is from the University of Chicago (1965), his Ph.D. from Yale (1969). He taught from 1969-73 at Princeton, from 1973-93 at Michigan State. He has held visiting professorships at universities in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and lectured at universities in 43 states and 20 foreign countries. His research, published in over 70 refereed papers in scholarly journals, has concentrated on labor demand, time use, social programs, and unusual applications of labor economics (to suicide, sleep and beauty).

Hamermesh is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the Society of Labour Economists, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, Program Director at the Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA), and Past President of the Society of Labor Economists and of the Midwest Economics Association. His magnum opus, Labor Demand, was published by Princeton University Press in 1993, and his labor economics textbook, The Economics of Work and Pay, has been through various editions since 1984. In 2005 McGraw-Hill Irwin published the second edition of his Economics Is Everywhere, a series of 400 vignettes designed to illustrate the ubiquity of economics in everyday life and how the simple tools in a microeconomics principles class can be used.


How do we distinguish the effects of discrimination from the unmeasurable productivity-enhancing effects of a characteristic? How do we tell whether a differential outcome results from discrimination by those who demand the output associated with a characteristic, or a failure of suppliers to supply enough or too much of the output in conjunction with that characteristic. These questions are asked and discussed in the context of new empirical research on the effects of beauty and of gender on economic outcomes.

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