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Lowell J. Taylor

Lowell J. Taylor

H. John Heinz III University Professor of Economics

Lowell J. Taylor is the H. John Heinz III Professor of Economics at Heinz College, where he has been on the faculty since 1990. 

He is also a Senior Fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, where he serves as Principal Investigator of the 1997 National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY97).  He previously served as a senior economist with President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors.  In 2011 and 2012 he was Visiting Professor at the Economics Department, University of California, Berkeley.

Taylor’s research is in labor economics and economic demography. 

He is co-author of the first paper studying the gay and lesbian popultion ever to appear in Demography, the flagship journal in the field. That paper, which demonstrated how data from the U.S. Census can be used to study same-sex couples, led to a rapidly growing sub-field in demography.

Many of Taylor’s papers study the basic functioning of labor markets. On the theoretical level, his research shows how firm-level incentive structures can shape fundamental labor market outcomes in surprising and important ways. Thus, his research demonstrates how incentives can lead to a “rat race” equilibrium in professional labor markets, in which all participants work inefficiency long hours.  As a second example, his works shows how racial disparity in unemployment emerges in labor markets even when no employer harbors racial prejudice. 

His research includes work on such policy-relevant topics as minimum wage policy and affirmative action in higher education.

Over the past several years, Taylor has been involved in research on healthcare finance and delivery in the U.S. He won the 11th Annual Health Care Research Award from the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) for "Physician Incentives in Health Maintenance Organizations" (Journal of Political Economy, 2004).  He won the 20th Annual Arrow Award from the International Health Economics Association for "Unhealthy Insurance Markets: Search Frictions and the Cost and Quality of Health Insurance" (American Economic Review, 2011).

Taylor is a three-time winner of the top teaching award at the Heinz College.


Courses Taught

  • 94-834 - Applied Econometrics I
  • 90-710 - Applied Economic Analysis


Additional Information