Raj Chetty is an American economist hailing from India. His is particularly recognized for being one of the youngest members to be ever inducted in to the Harvard University economics faculty.
Chetty was born on 4th August, 1979, in New Delhi, India. At a tender age of 9, he migrated with his family to the US in 1988. He received his initial education from the University School of Milwaukee, after which he had the good fortune of attending Harvard University for his BA degree. After availing the qualification in 2000, Chetty prolonged his stay at Harvard by continuing with a PhD. In the course of his research he began to come up with independent ideas which defied established economic knowledge, such as the theory that higher interest rates could potentially lead to higher investment, and was encouraged by his then mentor, Martin Feldstein, to keep coming up with new ones. Chetty published his thesis paper in 2003, titled ‘Consumption commitments, risk preferences, and optimal unemployment insurance’, which successfully marked the completion of his Ph.D.
Upon the completion of his education, Chetty entered the teaching profession, becoming assistant professor at the University of California where he taught economics. Four years down the road he was promoted to the rank of tenured professor. In 2009 however, Chetty decided to make the move back to Harvard, where he was immediately awarded tenure at the age of 29. He currently teaches economics, assuming the title of Bloomberg Professor of Economics, at the institute and is also the director of the Lab for Economic Applications and Policy.
Chetty is widely acknowledged for his ability to design more effective government policies. His approach blends empirical findings with existing theory via research, with his works on education, tax policy, and unemployment earning considerable critical acclaim from both media sources and Congress alike. For these reasons and others, he has been listed by the magazines The Economist and New York Times as one of the world’s finest young economists. Chetty’s status as one of the most frequently cited young economists in the world is testament to this type of recognition.
Chetty is also a widely respected writer. He has had the privilege of publishing his works in a multitude of prominent journals and maganzines, such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Quarterly Journal of Economics. “Moral Hazard Versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance” is one of his most famous papers, which was published in the Journal of Political Economy. Chetty managed to receive the Young Labor Economist Award from the Institute for the Study of Labor in 2010 for this particular work.
More recently in 2012, Chetty was awarded the McArthur Fellowship, whereby he became the recipient of $500,000. He was one of only 23 fellows to be granted with this fellowship. He was also honored with the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal in 2013, awarded by the American Economic Association, for being a promising young economist having made useful contributions to the field of economics.
Chetty’s current research is focused towards analyzing the state of opportunities across socioeconomic classes. He is determined towards identifying how children from the not so privileged backgrounds can be provided with better opportunities to succeed and make something of their lives.