Richard Zeckhauser
Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy
Economics Environmental Law & Policy Political Economy
Outside professional activities


Richard Zeckhauser is the Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy, Kennedy School, Harvard University. He graduated from Harvard College (summa cum laude) and received his Ph.D. there. He is an elected fellow of the Econometric Society, the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Sciences), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014, he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association. His contributions to decision theory and behavioral economics include the concepts of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), status quo bias, betrayal aversion, and ignorance (states of the world unknown) as a complement to the categories of risk and uncertainty. Many of his policy investigations explore ways to promote the health of human beings, to help markets work more effectively, and to foster informed and appropriate choices by individuals and government agencies. Zeckhauser has published over 330 articles. His recent coauthored books are The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art (2008), Collaborative Governance: Private Roles for Public Goals (2011), and The Dragon, the Eagle, and the Private Sector: Public-Private Collaboration in China and the United States (2021). Apart from academics, Zeckhauser is a Senior Principal at Equity Resource Investments, a real estate private equity firm. He has won multiple national championships in contract bridge.
Decision Theory
Behavioral Economics

Outside professional activities

Outside Professional Activities

In the spirit of transparency and integrity, Salata Institute Faculty Associates disclose publicly their key professional activities outside of Harvard University. The activities disclosed below are for the most recent reporting period, as defined by University policy. Some of the activities may be paid, some may be unpaid, and others may be in exchange for expense reimbursement only.

Outside Professional Activities For Richard Zeckhauser
Equity Resource Investments
Fiduciary Board Membership

The Salata institute

The Salata Institute supports interdisciplinary research that leads to real-world action, including high-risk/high-reward projects by researchers already working in the climate area and new endeavors that make it easier for Harvard scholars, who have not worked on climate problems, to do so.