Richard J. Murnane

Richard J. Murnane, an economist, is the Thompson Research Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. In recent years he has pursued two lines of research. With MIT Professors Frank Levy and David Autor, he has examined how computer-based technological change has affected skill demands in the U.S. economy, and the effectiveness of educational policies in responding to changing skill demands. Murnane and Levy have written two books on this topic. The second line of research examines the respects in which the growth in family income inequality in the U.S. has affected educational opportunities for children from low-income families and the effectiveness of alternative strategies for improving life chances for these children. Murnane co-edited (with Greg Duncan) the 2011 volume, Whither Opportunity: Growing Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances. In January 2014 Harvard Education Press and the Russell Sage Foundation published Duncan and Murnane’s book, Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education. In 2011, Murnane and his colleague, John Willett, published the book Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research.