Alison Baulos

Executive Director

Alison Baulos is the Executive Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development. She co-founded the Center in 2014 with Nobel laureate economist Professor James Heckman to promote the interdisciplinary study of human development using the tools and evidence from economics in conjunction with perspectives and findings from other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, demography, and genetics. 

Alison is also the Executive Director of the Center’s Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group, which she launched with Professor Heckman in 2010 to promote interdisciplinary human capital development research across the globe. She also oversees the Heckman Equation project which disseminates comprehensive and accurate research on early childhood to policymakers, non-profits, and the business community, and provides resources for advocates to more effectively make the case for public and private investments in early childhood education.

She joined Professor Heckman’s team as the Associate Director of the Economics Research Center in 2005, where she launched the Pritzker Consortium on Early Childhood Education at the Harris School in 2006, which brought together experts to identify when and how early childhood intervention programs can be most influential.

Alison graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. (with honors) in psychology, and also earned an M.A. from the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, and an MBA from the Booth School of Business. She was involved in research throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies and has worked on interventions for failure-to-thrive infants (La Rabida Children’s Hospital), correlation of the MMR vaccine to the onset of Autism Spectrum Disorders (Department of Psychiatry), and counseling with pregnant mothers experiencing depression (Access Community Health Network).