Sendhil Mullainathan is the Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. He has worked on poverty, behavioural economics and a wide variety of topics such as the impact of poverty on mental bandwidth; whether CEO pay is excessive; using fictitious resumes to measure discrimination; showing that higher cigarette taxes make smokers happier; modelling how competition affects media bias; and a model of course thinking. His latest research focuses on using machine learning to better understand human behaviour.
He enjoys writing, having recently co-authored Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means so Much and writes regularly for the New York Times.
He helped co-found a non-profit to apply behavioural science (ideas42), co-founded a center to promote the use of randomized control trials in development (the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab), serves on the board of the MacArthur Foundation, has worked in government in various roles, is affiliated with the NBER, BREAD, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He is a recipient of the MacArthur “genius” Award, has been designated a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, labeled a “Top 100 Thinker” by Foreign Policy Magazine, and named to the “Smart List: 50 people who will change the world” by Wired Magazine (UK). His hobbies include basketball, board games, googling and fixing-up classic espresso machines.