Derek Neal

Professor, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics



Derek Neal is a Professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics and the Committee on Education at the University of Chicago. Much of Professor Nealʼs recent research focuses on the design of incentive and accountability systems for educators. In 2018, he published Information, Incentives, and Education Policy (Harvard University Press). This book employs standard tools from information economics to examine a range of education reform agendas, from assessment-based accountability and centralized school assignments to charter schools and voucher systems. Professor Neal demonstrates where these programs have been successful, where they have failed, and why. Earlier in his career, his research focused on the causes and consequences of measured skill gaps between blacks and whites in the United States. His current work explores how different aspects of criminal justice policy impact black-white inequality in the US. He is a past President of the Midwest Economics Association, a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists, and a former Editor of the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Labor Economics and the Journal of Political Economy.


Selected Publications

“Allocating Effort and Talent in Professional Labor Markets,” with Gadi Barlevy,
forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Economics.

Information, Incentive, and Education Policy, Harvard University Press, May, 2018.

“The Prison Boom & Sentencing Policy,” joint with Armin Rick, Journal of Legal
Studies, January, 2016.

“The Consequences of Using One Assessment System to Pursue Two Objectives,” Journal of Economic Education, 2013. 

“Pay for Percentile,” with Gadi Barlevy, American Economic Review, August, 2012.

“Left Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability,” with
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Review of Economics and Statistics, May, 2010.

“The Effects of Catholic Secondary Schooling on Educational Achievement,” Journal
of Labor Economics, January, 1997, vol. 15, pp. 98-123; reprinted in The
Economics of Schooling and School Quality, Hanushek, ed.

“The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences,” with William R.
Johnson, Journal of Political Economy, October, 1996, vol. 104, pp. 869-895.

“Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence From Displaced Workers,” Journal of
Labor Economics, October, 1995.



Click here to download a copy of Derek Neal’s CV.