Raj Chetty is a Harvard professor of economics who won a 2012 MacArthur “Genius” Grant (worth $500,000). Chetty examines theories that potentially inform government policy — like how does dividend tax cuts affect corporate strategy, or and how does unemployment insurance affect job-seeking behavior. One of his studies, at a large supermarket chain, showed that although most customers were well-aware of the retail sales tax rates, consumers purchased less of a product when the tax was added to the product’s price tag (rather than just being added at the checkout). In another more controversial study, he found that students who by chance were assigned to talented teachers in elementary school had significantly higher incomes as adults. “Just one year of schooling under a teacher whose classes score highly on standardized tests increases a student’s lifetime earnings by an estimate $50,000.”
Chetty received his BA and a PhD from Harvard. He is 33 years old. Chances are he had a number of talented teachers during his elementary school years.