The Department of Economics has announced that Associate Professor Jonathan Gruber has been selected as a National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow.
Out of 15 US winners selected by the NSF, Dr. Gruber's award was the only one in the social and behavioral sciences and the first Presidential Faculty Fellowship received by an MIT faculty member.
The awards, which carry a grant of $100,000 per year for up to five years, are intended to allow the recipients to undertake self-designed, innovative research and teaching projects, to establish research and teaching programs and to pursue other academic activities.
An MIT graduate with a major in economics (Class of 1987), Dr. Gruber received his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1992 and has been on the faculty of the Department of Economics since 1993. He holds the Castle Krob Career Development Chair.
Professor Gruber's research and teaching focus on health economics and the economic effects of government social insurance programs. His research has analyzed the effects of a diverse range of insurance programs, including Medicaid, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation and employer-provided health insurance.
Dr. Gruber is regarded as one of the leading applied economists of his generation. His principal research contributions include studies showing that wages decline when governments require employers to provide workers with fringe benefits, that substantial improvements in the health of low-income children followed the expansion of the Medicaid program in the 1980s, and that expansion of government insurance programs "crowds out" private insurance and reduces the amount that individuals spend on private health insurance.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 27, 1995.