William C. Norby Professor in Economics
University of Chicago
Derek Neal is the William C. Norby Professor in Economics, the Committee on Education and the College at the University of Chicago. Much of 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. 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 United States. 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.