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Professor James Heckman Will Discuss Problem of Soft Skills in America at Nov. 1 Thomas Lecture


University of Chicago Economics Professor James Heckman will deliver the 2010-2011 James A. Thomas Lecture on Monday, November 1, 2010, at Yale Law School. The lecture is titled “Hard Evidence on Soft Skills: The GED and the Problem of Soft Skills in America.” It will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Room 127 and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Alumni Reading Room. RSVP by October 27 to

Professor Heckman is the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he has served since 1973. In 2000, he won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. He directs the Economics Research Center and the Center for Social Program Evaluation at the Harris School for Public Policy. In addition, he is the Professor of Science and Society in University College Dublin and a Senior Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation.

His work has been devoted to the development of a scientific basis for economic policy evaluation, and his research has given policymakers important new insights into areas such as education, job training, the importance of accounting for general equilibrium in the analysis of labor markets, anti-discrimination law, and civil rights.

He is author of hundreds of articles and several books, including, most recently, Global Perspectives on the Rule of Law and the forthcoming Hard Evidence on Soft Skills: The GED and the Problem of Soft Skills in America.

He holds a B.A. from Colorado College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

The James A. Thomas Lecture was established in 1989 in honor of Dean James A. Thomas ’64 and his many years of service to Yale Law School. It brings to the Law School a scholar whose work addresses the concerns of communities or groups currently marginalized within the legal academy or society at large.