Charles Manski

Charles Frederick Manski (born 1948), Professor of Economics at Northwestern University, is an econometrician in the realm of rational choice theory, an innovator in the arena of identification.[1] Manski’s research spans econometrics, judgment and decision, and the analysis of social policy (such as work on "School choice"). A specialist in prediction and decision, he is known within the economics field for landmark work on “partial identification,” identification of discrete choice models, and identification of social interactions. He has also performed substantial empirical research on measurement of expectations in surveys.[2]

Academic career

Born in 1948, Charles Manski received his B.S. and Ph.D. in economics from [1]

Manski has served as a member of the

As of 2007 Manski's research interests focus primarily on the field of formation of social policy with partial knowledge of treatment response. Economists and doctors alike share a common interest in gauging the effect of various "treatments" delivered to "patients."

Research findings in the media

The NRC's Committee on Data and Research for Policy on Illegal Drugs found that existing studies on efforts to address drug usage and smuggling, from U.S. military operations to eradicate coca fields in Colombia, to domestic drug treatment centers, have all been inconclusive, if the programs have been evaluated at all: “The existing drug-use monitoring systems are strikingly inadequate to support the full range of policy decisions that the nation must make ... It is unconscionable for this country to continue to carry out a public policy of this magnitude and cost without any way of knowing whether and to what extent it is having the desired effect.”[5] The study, though not ignored by the press, was initially ignored by policymakers, leading Manski to conclude, as one observer noted, that "the drug war has no interest in its own results." [6]

More recently, in 2004, Manski challenged the theoretical basis for statements in the popular media "that markets can predict an election better than polls and experts can."[7]



  • "No Data on Effectiveness;" Drug Policy News, Vol. 2 No. 1, Spring/Summer 2001
  • Stix, Gary. "Super Tuesday: Markets Predict Outcome Better Than Polls"; Scientific American, February 2008
  • Institute for Policy Research Bio
  • Northwestern Bio
  • Website on drug policy
  • C. Manski, Social Choice with Partial Knowledge of Treatment Response, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005.
  • C. Manski, “Diversified Treatment under Ambiguity,” International Economic Review, 2009, forthoming.
  • C. Manski, Partial Identification of Probability Distributions, New York: Springer-Verlag, 2003.
  • C. Manski, Identification for Prediction and Decision: Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2007.
  • C. Manski, “Maximum Score Estimation of the Stochastic Utility Model of Choice,” Journal of Econometrics, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1975, pp. 205–228.
  • C. Manski, “Identification of Binary Response Models,” Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 83, No. 403, 1988, pp. 729–738.
  • C. Manski, “Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem,” Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 60, No. 3, 1993, pp. 531–542.
  • C. Manski, “Measuring Expectations,” Econometrica, Vol. 72, No. 5, 2004, pp. 1329–1376.
  • Manski, Charles F. "Why Polls Are Fickle;" The New York Times. Op-Ed 4 [2000]
  • Manski webpage

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