Richard J. Zeckhauser is the Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. Zeckhauser pursues a mix of conceptual and applied research. The primary challenge facing society, he believes, is to allocate resources in accordance with the preferences of the citizenry. Much of his conceptual work examines possibilities for democratic, decentralized, allocation procedures. His ongoing policy investigations explore ways to promote the health of human beings, to help labor and financial markets operate more efficiently, and to foster informed and appropriate choices by individuals and government agencies. Zeckhauser's current major research addresses the performance of institutions confronted with inadequate commitment capabilities, incomplete information flow and human participants who fail to behave in accordance with models of rationality (for example, by engaging in herd behavior). Financial markets and health risks are the subjects of his major empirical investigations.