Richard Murnane, an economist, is the Thompson Research Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Over the past 40 years, Murnane has studied the effectiveness of school improvement strategies, teacher labor markets, and the impacts of technical change on skill demands.
With Greg Duncan, Murnane has examined the respects in which the growth in family income inequality in the U.S. has affected educational opportunities for children from low-income families and the effectiveness of alternative strategies for improving life chances for these children. Products of this project included the 2011 edited volume, Whither Opportunity, and the 2014 book, Restoring Opportunity. One of Murnane’s current research projects (with Stanford sociologist Sean Reardon) examines trends in the use of different types of private schools by low- and higher-income families in the U.S. Murnane is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Education.