Erik Hurst to lead Becker Friedman Institute of Economics at UChicago

The University of Chicago has installed labor economist Erik Hurst as the next director of the Becker Friedman Institute of Economics.

He is the Frank P. and Marianne R. Diassi distinguished service professor of economics and John E. Jeuck faculty fellow at the Booth School of Business, and has worked as deputy director of the BFI since 2017.

Hurst takes over from outgoing director of the institute, Michael Greenstone, who was recently appointed inaugural director of the university’s new climate and energy institute.

UChicago established the BFI in 2011 to increase interdisciplinary collaboration by bringing together economists from the Chicago Booth School of Business, the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics, the Harris School of Public Policy, and the university’s law school.

Hurst’s research focuses on the intersection of macroeconomics, labor economics and urban economics. His research has addressed topics including declining male participation rates, the determinants of U.S. wage growth and welfare losses to society stemming from gender and racial discrimination.

University of Chicago Provost Katherine Baicker said: “I am confident that under Erik’s leadership, BFI will continue its long-standing leadership in producing world-class research and ideas to help address the world’s most pressing economic challenges.”

Hurst said: “Michael and I have been running BFI for the last seven years, and while I will miss having him as a partner, I am excited for this new opportunity.” He added: “Along with our first-rate BFI team, I plan to continue the momentum that we have created, both in respect to enhancing the University of Chicago’s position as the premiere destination for economic research in the world, and with respect to disseminating that research to the global community.”

A member of the UChicago faculty since 1999, Hurst holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Clarkson University.