Richard B. Freeman holds the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University. He is currently serving as Faculty Co-Director of the Labor and Worklife Program at the Harvard Law School. Professor Freeman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He does most of his research at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Freeman's research interests the role of contracts and labor law to protect informal workers and improve labor standards along the supply chain; the job market for scientists and engineers; the transformation of scientific ideas into innovations, Chinese and Korean labor markets; the effects of AI and robots on the job market; and forms of labor market representation and employee ownership. He coedited Emerging Labor Market Institutions for the 21st Century, with Joni Hersch and Lawrence Mishel and wrote Can International Labor Standards Improve under Globalization? (with Kimberly Elliot).
He received the Mincer Lifetime Achievement Prize from the Society of Labor Economics in 2006. In 2007 he was awarded the IZA Prize in Labor Economics. In 2016, he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association.