Two of Harris’ leading scholars, Christopher Berry and Steven Durlauf have been recognized among 17 university faculty who have been appointed to named or distinguished service professorships.   Berry has been named the William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor at Harris and the College; and Durlauf has been named the Steans Family Professor in Educational Policy at Harris. 

Berry’s research agenda includes state and local politics, and finance and congressional budgetary politics. His recent work on distributive politics challenges the theoretical paradigm that has dominated political science’s understanding of congressional politics for decades. He is known for an award-winning book, Imperfect Union: Representation and Taxation in Multilevel Governments, as well as other works on political control of administrative agencies, women and politics, and the implementation of state court rulings.

“Chris is one of the nation’s most distinguished scholars of urban politics, state and local governance, and federalism,” said Katherine Baicker, Dean and the Emmett Dedmon Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.  “And, within his generation, he rates at the very top of scholars in all of American politics.”

In addition, Berry is director of the Center for Municipal Finance and co-director of Harris’ M.S. in Computational Science and Public Policy.   In his role with the Center for Municipal Finance, he recently worked with a group of students and the Chicago Tribune on a project analyzing property tax appeals.  The study was highlighted in a multi-article series in the Tribune, which spurred major public hearings on tax inequities.  

Steven Durlauf joined the University in July, 2017 as a professor with a national reputation for research that crosses multiple sub-fields of microeconomics and macroeconomics.

His research agenda spans economic theory, econometrics and applied economics.  He has helped pioneer the integration of sociological ideas into economic models and the use of statistical mechanics methods to study aggregate behavior when social influences are present.

“Steven’s research has had an important impact on scholarship in policy areas including poverty, inequality and economic growth. He has also made critical contributions to the theory of policy evaluation,” Baicker said.  “He’s extremely well-deserving of this Chair.”

Durlauf’s administrative contributions to the University predate his move to the Harris School, as he has served as co-director of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group since 2012. He is now also serving as associate director of the Center for Economics of Human Development. Prior to joining Harris, Durlauf was the William F. Vilas Research Professor and Kenneth J. Arrow Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, fellow of the Econometric Society, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

A version of this story originally appeared on UChicago News.