USC Price School of Public Policy

Nobel Laureate Appointed Presidential Professor

Nobel Laureate Appointed Presidential Professor

By Derek Lazzaro

Daniel McFadden Nobel kaureate Daniel McFadden will join faculty at SPPD

Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel McFadden has been appointed the Presidential Professor of Health Economics at USC by President C. L. Max Nikias.

McFadden is best known for his innovations in economics and mathematics related to models of learning and choice. He was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, together with James Heckman, for their development of theories and methods for analyzing discrete choice.

“As a Nobel laureate, professor McFadden stands among the world’s most highly regarded economists,” Nikias said. “His appointment reflects the university’s solid commitment to its economics program, as well as its goal of strengthening the social sciences at USC.”

The title of Presidential Professor is a rare USC honor bestowed upon an individual who combines the highest academic recognition with landmark contributions to society.

“Professor McFadden’s contributions to the fields of economics and mathematical modeling have transformed the way academics examine choice modeling, as well as the way that companies track and predict consumer decision-making and behavior,” said provost Elizabeth Garrett. “He will be a resource and a colleague for the many USC scholars and graduate students who study economics, statistics, choice modeling and psychology.”

McFadden will have joint appointments at the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the Department of Economics at USC College. He will work with Dana Goldman, who holds the Norman Topping/National Medical Enterprises Chair in Medicine and Public Policy at SPPD, and who is the director of the USC Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

“USC’s Schaeffer Center is at the forefront of research on the operation of health care markets, and organization and management of health services to promote efficiency, efficacy and equity,” McFadden said. “I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with the team of scholars already in place at the Schaeffer Center and to join them in developing information resources and analytic tools to address major health policy issues in the U.S. and the world.”

In recent years, McFadden has collaborated with Goldman and other scholars at the Schaeffer Center. As a Presidential Professor, McFadden will examine fundamental problems facing the health care sector, looking specifically at how consumers make choices about health insurance and medical services.

“We are extremely fortunate that Dr. McFadden chose to devote his prodigious intellect to one of the most pressing public policy issues – health care – and that he has chosen USC as the place to direct these efforts,” Goldman said.

McFadden is a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, and has held academic appointments at Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago and other leading U.S. universities.

He joins two other Nobel Prize-winning professors on USC’s faculty: George Olah, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, a recipient of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and holder of the Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Chair in Organic Chemistry; and Murray Gell-Mann, Presidential Professor of Physics and Medicine and recipient of the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics.