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April 21, 2023 | News

Orazio Attanasio Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Orazio headshot

Orazio Attanasio, the Cowles Professor of Economics at Yale University, has been elected as a new member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his contributions to economics, the academy announced on April 19.

Along with 268 other intellectuals, artists, writers, and distinguished leaders, Orazio joins one of the nation’s oldest learned societies. “With the election of these members, the Academy is honoring excellence, innovation, and leadership and recognizing a broad array of stellar accomplishments,” said David Oxtoby, president of the American Academy. “We hope every new member celebrates this achievement and joins our work advancing the common good.”

"I am honored and thrilled to receive this recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,” said Orazio, “I see it as an opportunity to engage further with scholars from different disciplines and explore new ways to advance our understanding of important economic issues."

His research interests include household consumption; saving and labor supply behavior; risk sharing; evaluation and design of policies in developing countries; human capital accumulation in developing countries; early-years interventions; micro credit; and measurement tools in surveys.

He has carried out evaluations of education financing and access programmes, including large conditional cash transfers programs, the impact of scholarships on school enrolment and the effect of subjective expectations on education choices.

Orazio’s policy-focused work includes:

  • In Mexico, serving on the advisory board of “Progresa- Oportunidades”, assessing the impact of a high school scholarship programme for the Ministry of Education, and evaluating “Jovenes con Oportunidades”;
  • In Colombia, directing the evaluations of the conditional cash transfer programme, a training programme for unemployed youth, a workfare programme and several early years interventions;
  • In India, the evaluation of a large early childhood development intervention;
  • In Ghana, the evaluation of Lively Minds, a child care intervention, currently being scaled up;
  • In Chile, assessing pension reforms and serving on the “Comisión Asesora Presidencial sobre el sistema de Pensiones”.

My recent research has been focused on child development, measurement issues in economics, and inequality. I am excited to continue to work on research that sheds light on these issues, and that informs policies that promote greater economic and social mobility.

Orazio joins several other members of the Department of Economics who have been elected in past years, including Joseph Altonji, Dirk Bergemann, Steven Berry, Xiaohong Chen, Judith Chevalier, John Geanakoplos, Pinelopi Goldberg, Samual Kortum, Costas Meghir, William Nordhaus, Rohini Pande, Peter Phillips, Mark Rosenzweig, Larry Samuelson, and Robert Shiller.

“In its earliest days, the Academy sought members who would help address issues and opportunities confronting a young nation,” said Nancy C. Andrews, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “We feel a similar urgency and have elected a class that brings diverse expertise to meet the pressing challenges and possibilities that America and the world face today.”

Orazio joins eight other Yale scholars in this year’s class: Claire L. Bowern, Hazel Carby, Kerwin K. Charles, James Forman Jr., Dr. Jorge Galan. T Leonid Glazman, Yair Minsky, and Priyamvada Natarajan. Read the full Yale News Story here: Nine Yale scholars elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About: The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, founded in 1780, is both an honorary society that recognizes and celebrates the excellence of its members and an independent research center convening leaders from across disciplines, professions, and perspectives to address significant challenges.