Board of Trustees Professor in Economics and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University National Academy of Sciences ~ British Academy ~ National Research Council ~ Econometric Society ~ American Academy of Arts and Sciences ~ American Association for the Advancement of Science ~ Distinguished Fellow, American Economics Association

03 September 2015

Cleveland Fed: The Media's Enormous Responsibility

In an exclusive interview with the Cleveland Fed, Charles Manski argues it’s not just statistical agencies that bear the “enormous responsibility” of communicating uncertainty to the public:

26 December 2014

Brookings Institution: Federal Budget Commentary (C-Span)

Charles Manski joined a Brookings Institution Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy discussion on the challenges of the federal budget process in remarks carried on C-Span:

16 July 2013

Royal Economic Society: Decisions in an Uncertain World

There is far more uncertainty in economics and policy-making than many would have us believe, according to Professor Charles Manski of Northwestern University.

Professor Manski was giving the Sargan Lecture at the Roya Economic Society annual conference in April 2013. The full lecture is available here:

The British Academy: Public Policy in an Uncertain World

On 27 March 2013 cemmap (The Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, an ESRC Centre hosted at the IFS) and the British Academy Policy Centre held a lecture by Professor Charles Manski, Board of Trustees Professor in Economics at Northwestern University and an International Fellow of cemmap.

Professor Manski discussed his new book Public Policy in an Uncertain World: Analysis and Decisions (Harvard University Press, 2013). In his book, he argues that society should face up to the uncertainties that attend policy formation. He observes that the current practice of policy analysis hides uncertainty, as researchers use untenable assumptions to make exact predictions of policy outcomes. Manski recommends more credible policy analysis that explicitly expresses the limits to knowledge, and he considers how policy makers can reasonably make decisions in an uncertain world.

The lecture was followed by a response from Lord Gus O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary and Visiting Professor at the Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy, UCL. This event was chaired by Professor Andrew Chesher FBA, Professor of Economics at UCL and Director of cemmap.

The lecture took place between 6pm - 7.30pm, at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH.

08 October 2011

The American Economist: Unlearning and Discovery

Charles Manski was recently asked to write an autobiographical essay for the journal, The American Economist. This thoughtful retrospective, Unlearning and Discovery, was the result:

25 December 2010

National Academy of Sciences "InterViews"

The following interview by the NAS' InterViews project was audio recorded in early 2010.

audio_icon Listen to the Interview (mp3, 29 mb)
     (31 minutes)

Economist Charles Manski has always been a skeptic. His refusal to take accepted views for granted led him to give up the Jewish religious training of his boyhood at 16; less than a decade later, it placed him among the pioneers of a new kind of economics, one with a more nuanced view of how people choose.

Using discrete choice analysis-a mathematical method for determining how people decide between alternatives-Manski has studied issues ranging from how government grants affect a student's choice to go to college to whether drug laws actually work. He's also tackled the thorny fundamental problem of "partial identification": how does someone deciding between two courses of action know which is better, when only one outcome will ever be known? Doctors studying the effects of a choice of treatments on a group of patients, judges handing down sentences for offenders, and other decision-makers must choose one alternative without ever knowing or "identifying" the outcome of the other. Manski's research has focused on resolving this and other complicated problems of decision and expectation, always with an eye toward helping society make better choices.

Manski is a professor of economics at Northwestern University, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2009.

Adaptive Partial Drug Approval: A Health Policy Proposal

From the recent issue of The Economists' Voice . . .

"Charles Manski of Northwestern argues that the drug approval process should be more continuous, so that patients can have access to beneficial drugs earlier and at the same time there are incentives for longer term studies than the current system produces, which could limit problems like those caused by Vioxx."

Manski, Charles F. (2009) "Adaptive Partial Drug Approval: A Health Policy Proposal," The Economists' Voice: Vol. 6 : Iss. 4, Article 9.
DOI: 10.2202/1553-3832.1449
Available at: