About Robert LaLonde

Robert J. LaLonde, a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, focuses on program evaluation, education and training of the workforce, economic effects of immigration on developed countries, costs of worker displacement, impact of unions and collective bargaining in the United States, and economic and social consequences of incarceration. LaLonde is leading research projects examining women in Illinois prisons and their children, and the employment prospects of young men after they are paroled from prison.

He received his PhD in economics from Princeton University and joined the University of Chicago in 1985, where he first taught for ten years at both Harris and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (then the Graduate School of Business). Previously, LaLonde was an associate professor of economics at Michigan State University. He has been a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) since 1986 and served as a senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers during the 1987–1988 academic year. He is also a Research Fellow at NBER and the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). Currently, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Public/Private Ventures, a national nonprofit organization with the mission of improving the effectiveness of social policies, programs, and community initiatives.


* "Mapping Cultural Participation in Chicago" (with Colm O'Muircheartaigh, Julia Perkins, Ned English, Diane Grams, and Carroll Joynes), monograph, Cultural Policy Center, The University of Chicago, April 2006.
* "Is Retraining Displaced Workers a Good Investment"(with L. Jacobson and D. Sullivan), Economic Perspectives, XXIX(2): 47-66, Second Quarter, 2005.
* "The Impact of Community College Retraining on Older Displaced Workers: Should We Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?" (with L. Jacobson and D. Sullivan), Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 58(3): 398 - 415, April 2005.
* "The Returns from Classroom Training for Displaced Workers" (with L. Jacobson and D. Sullivan), Journal of Econometrics, 125(1): 271-304, March 2005.
* "Employment and Training Programs," in M. Feldstien and R. Moffitt, eds., Means Tested Transfer Programs in the U.S., Chicago: University of Chicago Press for the National Bureau of Economic Research, 2003.
* "Alternative methods of estimating program effects in event history models" (with Curtis Eberwein and John C. Ham), Labour Economics, 9, no.2 (April 2002) 249-278. (Paper available through Elsevier -
* “Job Stability and Job Change Among Less Skilled Workers,” (with H. Holzer), in D. Card and R. Blank eds., Labor Markets and Less-Skilled Workers, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000
* “The Economics and Econometrics of Active Labor Market Policies,” (with J. Heckman and J. Smith) in The Handbook of Labor Economics, eds. Orley Ashenfelter and David Card, Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1999
* “The Impact of Classroom Training on the Employment Histories of Disadvantaged Women: Evidence from Experimental Data” (with Curtis Eberwein and John Ham), Review of Economic Studies, 1997
* “The Effect of Sample Selection and Initial Conditions in Duration Models: Evidence from Experimental Data on Training” (with J. Ham), Econometrica, 1996
* “Using Longitudinal Survey Data on Establishments to Analyze the Effects of Union Organizing Campaigns in the United States,” (with K. Troske) Annales D'Economie et De Statistique, 1996
* “The Promise of U.S. Employment and Training Programs,” Journal of Economic Perspectives, 1995
* “Earning Losses of Displaced Workers,” (with L. Jacobson and D.Sullivan), American Economic Review, 1993
* “Immigrants in the American Labor Market: Quality, Assimilation, and Distributional Effects,” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 1991
* “Labor Market Adjustments to Increased Immigration,” (with R.Topel) in Immigration, Trade,and Labor, ed. J. Abowd and R. Freeman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press for NBER, 1991
* “Hard Times for Unions: Another Look at the Significance of Employer Illegalities,” University of Chicago Law Review, 1991
* “The Prospects for General Skills and Vocational Training to Improve Outcomes of Economically Disadvantaged U.S. Youths,” (with Daniel Sullivan), forthcoming in Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, NBER-Robin Hood Foundation monograph, Phil Levine and David Zimmerman, editors (2010)
* “Building Capacity to Evaluate Health and Nutrition Programs,” in American Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.(2009).
* “The Impact of Incarceration in State Prison on the Employment Prospects of Women,” (with Rosa Cho), Journal of Quantitative Criminology 24(3) (2008).
* “The Case for Wage Insurance,” paper prepared for the Council on Foreign Relations,(July 2007).

Harris School Working Papers

* "Female Offenders Use of Social Welfare Programs Before and After Jail and Prison: Does Prison Cause Welfare Dependency?" (Harris School Working Paper 07.18)
* "The Impact of Incarceration in State Prison on the Employment Prospects of Women" (Harris School Working Paper 05.10)
* "Bordeaux Wine Vintage Quality and Weather" (Harris School Working Paper 04.13)
* "Should We Teach Old Dogs New Tricks? The Impact of Community College Retraining on Older Displaced Workers" (Harris School Working Paper 04.12)
* "The Returns to Community College Schooling for Displaced Workers" (Harris School Working Paper 01.05)
* "Emigration of Immigrants and Measures of Immigrant Assimilation: Evidence from Sweden" (Harris School Working Paper 00.20)
* "Job Change and Job Stability Among Less-Skilled Young Workers" (Harris School Working Paper 99.28)

Other Papers

* "The Childhood Foster Care Experiences of Female State Prisoners and What it Means for Reentry: Evidence from Matched Administrative Data from Illinois" (with Haeil Jung and Rekha Varghese), June 2009.
* "Incarcerated Mothers, Their Children’s Placements into Foster Care, and its Consequences for Reentry and for Labor Market Outcomes" (with Haeil Jung and Rekha Varghese), March 2009.
* "Final Implementation Evaluation Report for the Illinois Going Home Program" (with Susan M. George and Martha Van Haitsma), November 2007.
* "Immigration Policy and Economic Growth". Remarks prepared for the Primer Foro Presidencial Internationale de Seguridad, Democracia, y Comercio, San Salvador, El Salvador, October 29, 2007.
* Do Displaced Workers Benefit From Community College Courses? Findings From Administrative Data and Directions for Future Research (with L. Jacobson and D.Sullivan), October 2005.
* "Evaluation of the Illinois Going Home Program; Interim Report—Year One: September 1, 2003 – September 1, 2004," (Susan M. George and Martha Van Haitsma), September 2004. Submitted to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
* "Job Search and the Employment Service: A Survey and Methods and Findings," December 2002. Prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
* "The Case for Wage Insurance," September 2007. The Bernard and Irene Schwartz Series on American Competitiveness.