Richard B. Freeman

Herbert Ascherman Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Chapter Member: Boston SSN
Areas of Expertise:

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About Richard

Freeman is one of the world’s leading labor economists. His research includes the economic theory of unions, the economics of science and engineering, and the role that broader-based profit sharing plays in reducing inequality. Professor Freeman holds the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University, is currently serving as Faculty co-Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School, and is Senior Research Fellow in Labour Markets at the London School of Economics' Centre for Economic Performance. He directs the National Bureau of Economic Research / Sloan Science Engineering Workforce Projects, and is Co-Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities.


In the News

Richard B. Freeman quoted on the decline of unions by Lydia DePillis, "With Public Sector Unions on the Rocks, Middle Class May Take Another Hit" The Washington Post, January 13, 2016.
Richard B. Freeman quoted on union membership by Sean McElwee, "How Unions Boost Democratic Participation" American Prospect, September 16, 2015.
"Capitalism for the Rest of Us," Richard B. Freeman (with Joseph R. Blasi and Douglas L. Kruse), New York Times, July 17, 2015.
Richard B. Freeman quoted on minimum wage by Bryce Covert, "What Really Caused The Puerto Rican Crisis" Think Progress, July 8, 2015.
Richard B. Freeman's research on China’s scientific and engineering progress discussed by Robert J. Samuelson, "China’s New, Better ‘Leap Forward’," The Washington Post, April 29, 2015.
Richard B. Freeman quoted on trade economics by Don Lee, "Ghost of NAFTA Haunts Proposed Pacific Rim Trade Deal" Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2015.
Richard B. Freeman quoted on expanding incentives for workers to acquire stock in their employers by John Harwood, "For Solution to Income Stagnation, Republicans and Democrats Revise Their Playbooks" New York Times, December 29, 2014.


"Workers Ownership and Profit-Sharing in a New Capitalist Model?," Swedish Trade Union Confederation, 2015.
Discusses how to achieve full employment and how the solidaristic wage policy can be modernized.
"Collaborating with People Like Me: Ethnic Co-Authorship within the U.S." (with Wei Huang). Journal of Labor Economics 33, no. 3 (2015): 289-318.
Argues that persons of similar ethnicity coauthor together more frequently than predicted by their proportion among authors and subsequent impact on publication and citation. Suggests that diversity in inputs by author ethnicity, location, and references leads to greater contributions to science as measured by impact factors and citations.
"Immigration, International Collaboration, and Innovation: Science and Technology Policy in the Global Economy" in Innovation Policy and the Economy, edited by Adam B. Jaffe, Josh Lerner, Scott Stern (National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015), 153-175.
Suggests that aligning immigration policies more closely to the influx of international students, granting fellowships to students working on turning scientific and technological advances into commercial innovations, and requiring firms with R&D tax credits or other government R&D funding develop “impact plans” to use their new knowledge to produce innovative products or processes in the US, could help the country adjust to the changing global world of science and technology.
"School and Family Effects on Educational Outcomes Across Countries" (with Martina Viarengo). Economic Policy 29, no. 70 (2014).
Analyzes the link between student test scores and the school students attend, the policies and practices of the schools, students’ family background and their parents’ involvement in their education using data from the 2009 wave of the Program for International Student Assessment.