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 Jonathan Guryan

Jonathan Guryan

  • Lawyer Taylor Professor of Education and Social Policy
  • Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research

Affiliated Center(s)

Institute for Policy Research

Research Interests

Understanding the sources and consequences of racial inequality and the economics of education.


Jonathan Guryan is Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and a courtesy member of the Economics Department and the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a co-founder and co-director of the Education Lab in the Urban Labs at the University of Chicago. Much of his research falls into two main categories, understanding the sources and consequences of racial inequality and the economics of education. His work on these subjects has been published in leading journals such as the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, Developmental Psychology, Educational Psychology, and the Review of Economics and Statistics.

In one study he found that the court-ordered school desegregation plans of the 1970’s led to declines in high school dropout rates among black students. In another study, with Kerwin Charles, he evaluated the role that racial prejudice plays in the determination of wage differences between blacks and whites. In ongoing work with Kenneth Chay and Bhashkar Mazumder, he is studying the effect of early access to health care on the black-white test score gap. He has also studied the labor market for teachers; a subsidy for investments in Internet access in schools; technology assisted learning in classrooms; demand for lottery tickets; and peer effects among professional golfers.

His work has been funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation and the National Science Foundation. He has also been awarded grants by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences  and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to conduct and study an experimental evaluation of an intervention designed to reduce truancy in the Chicago Public Schools.

Prior to joining the Northwestern faculty in 2010, Jonathan Guryan taught at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, where he was Assistant Professor of Economics from 2000-2004 and Associate Professor of Economics from 2004-2010.


  • PhD, Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2000
  • AB, Economics, Princeton University, 1996

Selected Publications

Heller, S., Shah, A., Guryan, J., Ludwig, J., Mullainathan, S., and Pollack, H. (February, 2017). Thinking Fast and Slow? Some Field Experiments to Reduce Crime and Dropout in Chicago. Quarterly Journal of Economics: 1-54.
(Download )

Garfield, C.F., Karbownik, K., Murthy, K., Falciglia, G., Guryan, J., Figlio, D., Roth, J. (2017). Educational Performance of Children Born Prematurely. JAMA Pediatrics: 171(8): 764-770 .

Kim, J., Burkhauser, M., Quinn, D., Guryan, J., Kingston, H., Aleman, K. (2017). Effectiveness of Structured Teacher Adaptations to an Evidence-Based Summer Literacy Program. Reading Reserach Quarterly: 52(4): 385-388 .

(2015). Do Lottery Payments Induce Savings Behavior: Evidence from the Lab. Journal of Public Economics.
(Download )

Figlio, David, Guryan, Jonathan, Karbownik, Krzysztof, Roth, Jeffrey (December, 2014). The Effects of Poor Neonatal Health on Children’s Cognitive Development. American Economic Review: 3921-3955.
(Download )

Charles, K., and J. Guryan (2011). Studying discrimination: Fundamental challenges and recent progress. Annual Review of Economics 3(1): 479�511.

Kim, J., and J. Guryan (February, 2010). The efficacy of a voluntary summer book reading intervention for low-income Latino children from language minority families. . Journal of Educational Psychology 102(1): 20-31.

Guryan, J., and M. Kearney (2010). Is Lottery Gambling Addictive?. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2(3): 90-110.

Guryan, Jonathan with Matt Notowidigdo and Kory Kroft (October, 2009). Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(4): 34-68.

Guryan, Jonathan with Olivier Deschenes and Michael Greenstone (May, 2009). Climate Change and Birth Weight.American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 99(2): 211-217.