T. Paul Schultz
Malcolm K. Brachman Professor Emeritus of Economics
T. Paul Schultz was born in Ames, Iowa and obtained his B.A. at Swarthmore College in 1961 and his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1966. He began his professional career at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California where he was a staff economist and Director of Population Research. He moved to the Department of Economics at the University of Minnesota in 1972 and then to Yale University in 1974, where he has remained for the rest of his career.
Paul Schultz is the founding father of modern empirical work in population economics and has had an enormous influence on the field. Much of his research in the early part of his career was on fertility and family planning in developing countries and the fertility transition, including studies of Taiwan. At the RAND Corporation, his volume on Love and Life Between the Censuses was widely read. This early work immediately established him as the leading economic demographer in the country. Later, his 1981 monograph Economics of Population provided a textbook introduction to the subject which educated a generation of scholars on the subject, using modern economic theoretical tools. It is widely regarded as the best overview of the economics of population ever written, and is still used in many courses. While continuing work on fertility later in his career, he branched out to studies of the economics of female labor supply, household production models of health and child survival, migration, income distribution and inequality, determinants and consequences of schooling, immigration, and gender issues. He also pioneered in the use of household survey data in developing countries. While most of his work has been on developing countries, he made key contributions to economic demography in developed countries as well, perhaps the most notable example being his early work on household bargaining models. His body of research is a model of both breadth and focus on key issues in population economics.
Paul has been an institution builder at all phases of his career. At RAND, he founded the Population Program. At Yale, he directed the Economic Growth Center at an important period in its development, and he was the leader in building up population economics at Yale at a time when the subject was often not popular among economists. Today Yale is the leading center of empirical work in population economics in developing countries in the country. Paul has also been active in his service to the field and to public policy, having served on dozens of government funding panels, scientific advisory committees, National Academy of Sciences study groups and committees, including the Committee on Population, and positions within PAA. He has also served on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals. He has been honored as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, by the Irene Taeuber Award by the PAA, and as a National Associate by the National Academy of Sciences. He served as President of the European Society for Population Economics.
Paul has been a superb thesis advisor and mentor, beginning even in his early days at Rand when he became known as a mentor to be sought out. At Yale, he has trained an entire generation of graduate students and has served as a mention to dozens of post-docs and junior faculty at Yale. His style of mentorship is widely emulated by his students in their own careers. His reputation as a mentor extends to younger economists working in population economics at other institutions, as evidenced by the many testimonials to his advice and assistance in their work and careers. His students and the younger scholars he has mentored are spread through the US and the world, conducting research in his spirit and influenced by his generosity.
Those who have passed through Yale will always remember his beautiful house in Madison, Connecticut, with its wonderful view of Long Island Sound. His students have also continued to remember to always ask about the endogeneity of family variables in the regression results presented by visiting speakers.