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The Great Polarization
Economics, Institutions and Policies in the Age of Inequality

A conference hosted by the Department of Economics at the University of Utah

Short biographies



joseph stiglitz Joseph E. Stiglitz, Columbia University
Joseph E. Stiglitz is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is also the co-chair of the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress at the OECD, and the Chief Economist of the Roosevelt Institute. A recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), he is a former senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank and a former member and chairman of the (U.S. president's) Council of Economic Advisers. In 2000, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, a think tank on international development based at Columbia University. He has been a member of the Columbia faculty since 2001 and received that university's highest academic rank (university professor) in 2003. In 2011 Stiglitz was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Known for his pioneering work on asymmetric information, Stiglitz's work focuses on income distribution, risk, corporate governance, public policy, macroeconomics and globalization. He is the author of numerous books, and several bestsellers. His most recent titles are Globalization and Its Discontents Revisited, The Euro, Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy and The Great Divide.

marion crain Marion Crain, Washington University School of Law, Washington University in St. Louis
Marion Crain, an expert in labor and employment law, is Vice Provost for Washington University and the Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law. She holds joint appointments (by courtesy) with the Brown School of Social Work and the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. Her scholarship examines the relationships among gender, work, and class status with a particular emphasis on collective action, labor relations and social movements. Recent publications include her co-edited books on Invisible labor: Hidden work in the contemporary world (UC Press, 2016) and Working and living in the shadow of economic fragility (OUP, 2014). She has as well published two casebooks, and numerous law review articles and book chapters. Professor Crain is a member and past Chair of the Labor Law Group, an international collective of labor and employment law professors who work collaboratively to improve labor and employment law pedagogy through the production of course materials, and serves on the editorial board of the Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal. She previously served as the Paul Eaton Professor of Law and Director of the Center on Poverty, Work & Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.




daniel reed

Daniel A. Reed, University of Utah
Daniel A. Reed is the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Computer Science & Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah. Previously, he served as the University of Iowa’s Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Technology Policy and Extreme Computing, the founding Director of the Renaissance Computing Institute at UNC Chapel Hill, Head of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, and Director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He received his B.S. from Missouri S&T and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Purdue University.

cynthia berg

Cynthia A. Berg, University of Utah
Cynthia A. Berg is the dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Science and Professor of Psychology. She has been with the U since 1986. Dr. Berg completed doctoral training and earned two master’s degrees at Yale University all in developmental psychology. She earned a bachelor’s of psychology from the University of Washington. Dr. Berg has published over 100 articles and book chapters. Her research, at the intersection of development and health psychology, examines how individuals cope with chronic illness (e.g., diabetes, cancer) within close relationships and family systems. Dr. Berg brings together collaborative and interdisciplinary research teams from psychology, pediatrics, medicine and the Huntsman Cancer Institute to approach these problems.


Conference Participants

dean baker

Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
Dean Baker co-founded CEPR in 1999. His analyses have appeared in many major publications, including The Atlantic Monthly and the Washington Post. Dean has written several books, his latest being Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer and Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People (with Jared Bernstein). His blog, “Beat the Press,” provides commentary on economic reporting. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan. Dean previously worked as a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute and an assistant professor at Bucknell University. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, and the OECD's Trade Union Advisory Council. His areas of research include housing and macroeconomics, intellectual property, Social Security, Medicare and European labor markets.

tabitha benney Tabitha Benney, University of Utah
Tabitha Benney is an Assistant Professor in the University of Utah’s Department of Political Science and affiliated faculty in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program and the Center on Global Change and Sustainability. She is also a Research Fellow for the Earth Research Governance Network and Co-Chair of the Scholars Strategy Network's Utah Chapter. Dr. Benney teaches in the fields of International Relations, International and Comparative Political Economy, Energy and Environmental Politics and Research Methods. Her work has been published in The Review of International Political Economy, The Routledge Handbook on Ethics, The World Financial Review and Wiley’s Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change. Her book entitled, Making Environmental Markets Work: The Varieties of Capitalism in Emerging Economies (Routledge Press) was published in December 2014 and was released in paperback in January 2017.

gunseli berik Günseli Berik, University of Utah
Günseli Berik is Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. She received her B.Sc. in Economics and Statistics from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and Ph.D. in Economics from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Most of her publications have focused on gender inequalities in livelihood and well-being outcomes (earnings, working conditions, training, population sex ratios, time use in the household) internationally and in the U.S. Dr. Berik’s research has been supported by the ILO, UNDP, UNRISD, UN Women, and the World Bank. She is coauthor with Lourdes Benería and Maria Floro of Gender, Development, Globalization: Economics as if All People Mattered (2015).  Between 2010 and 2017 she served as editor of the journal Feminist Economics. More recently, she has been working on the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) as an alternative aggregate metric of economic welfare that potentially provides a useful policy guide for a sustainable future.

mark button Mark Button, University of Utah
Mark E. Button is Professor and Chair in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah. He is the author of Political Vices (Oxford University Press 2016) and Contract, Culture, and Citizenship: Transformative Liberalism from Hobbes to Rawls (Penn State University Press, 2008). He earned his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 2001. His articles have appeared in Political Studies; Political Research Quarterly; Political Theory; Social Theory and Practice; Polity; Law, Culture, and the Humanities; and The Encyclopedia of Political Thought. Professor Button teaches courses in political theory, including Ancient political thought, Modern political theory, Democratic theory, American political thought, and Ethics and Public Affairs.

nilufer cagatay Nilüfer Çagatay, University of Utah
Nilüfer Çagatay is Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. Çagatay received her B.A. in economics and political science from Yale University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University. Her research has focused on gender, macroeconomics and macroeconomic policies. She is the author/editor of numerous articles, monographs and volumes including Gender, Adjustment and Macroeconomics, and Growth, Trade, Finance and Gender Equality. She is a founding director of the International Working Group on Gender, Macroeconomics, and International Economics (GEM-IWG), an international network of economists conducting and promoting policy-relevant research on feminist macroeconomics and international economics that was founded in 1994. She is also a founding co-director of GEM-Europe, the regional affiliate of GEM- IWG. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, International Development Research Centre, Canada, UN DESA, INSTRAW, Heinrich Boell Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation.

gina cornia Gina Cornia, Utahns Against Hunger
Gina Cornia has been the Executive Director of Utahns Against Hunger since 2001. Before joining UAH, she worked on welfare policy for five years at Utah Issues. Ms. Cornia was introduced to the work of Utahns Against Hunger through the University of Utah while volunteering at the Bennion Center. For twenty two years, she has been working with state administrators, state and federal elected officials on the issues of hunger and poverty. Under her leadership UAH has been recognized by the Inclusion Center, Slow Food and Salt Lake Magazine for the work they do in advocacy, community building and food access. In 2014 Ms. Cornia was given the Dr. Raymond Wheeler/Senator Paul Wellstone Anti-Hunger Advocacy Leadership Award from the Food Research and Action Center. In 2016 she was honored to receive Joe Duke-Rosati “Hellraiser” award from Crossroads Urban Center.

james curry James M. Curry, University of Utah
James M. Curry is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah, and co-director of the Utah Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 2011. Curry's research focuses on U.S. politics and policymaking, especially the U.S. Congress. His book, Legislating in the Dark (University of Chicago Press, 2015) was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Alan Rosenthal Prize. Curry previously worked on Capitol Hill in the offices of Congressman Daniel Lipinski and the House Appropriations Committee.

brad delong Brad DeLong, University of California Berkeley
Brad DeLong is a professor of economics at U.C. Berkeley, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a weblogger at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and a fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He received his B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1982 and 1987. He joined UC Berkeley as an associate professor in 1993 and became a full professor in 1997. Professor DeLong also served in the U.S. government as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy from 1993 to 1995. DeLong’s diverse research interests include technological and industrial revolutions, the rise and fall of social democracy, the political economy of monetary and fiscal policy, financial crises and 20th century macroeconomics, and the history of economic thought.

gerard dumenil Gerard Duménil, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (retired)
Gérard Duménil is an economist and former Research Director at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He previously was professor at the University of Paris X-Nanterre and Paris IX-Dauphine. He received his doctorate degree in Economics in 1973 from the University of Paris X-Nanterre. He is the author of numerous books and economic research articles. Among his latest books, co-authored with Dominique Lévy, are Managerial capitalism (Pluto Press, 2018) and The crisis of neoliberalism (Harvard University Press, 2011). His works have been translated into numerous languages. He is regarded as the author of the most widely recognized work in Marxist economics, dynamics of disequilibrium economics, the historical analysis of the changing class structure of modern capitalism, and macroeconomics. Currently, he is doing research for a Harvard University Press book on dynamic money-credit macroeconomic interaction with empirical applications to the US economy since World War II.

susan dynarski Susan Dynarski, University of Michigan
Susan Dynarski is a professor of public policy, education and economics at the University of Michigan, where she holds appointments at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Education, Department of Economics and Institute for Social Research and serves as co-director of the Education Policy Initiative. She is a faculty research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment. She is a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network. Dynarski earned a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT. Dynarski's research interests include the optimal design of financial aid, for which she was awarded the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for excellence in research on student aid by The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, as well as the relationship between postsecondary schooling and labor market outcomes.

becky edwards Representative Becky Edwards, Utah House of Representatives
Representative Becky Edwards has served in the Utah House of Representatives since 2009. For six years she has chaired the Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee. She also co-chairs the Women in the Economy Commission and the Child Welfare Legislative Oversight Panel. Rep. Edwards is a champion for family economic prosperity, and has sponsored bills addressing intergenerational poverty, early childhood education, housing affordability, and workplace issues including paid family leave, child care, and workplace discrimination. The YWCA recently named Rep. Edwards “Public Official of the Year." Her pioneering legislation on climate change has been featured in the New York Times and on CNN. Rep. Edwards’ work to send a statue of Martha Hughes Cannon to the U.S. Capitol was featured on NPR and in the Washington Post. She has degrees from Brigham Young University, including a Masters of Social Work and an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy.

korkut erturk Korkut Erturk, University of Utah
Korkut Erturk is Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. He received his B.A. at New York University and Ph.D. at the New School for Social Research. A past department chair, he has been teaching at the University of Utah since the early 1990s. His primary research interest has focused on macroeconomic effects of financialization, exploring the role of asset bubbles in global financial intermediation and domestic credit and money supply mechanism. His more recent research focuses on the adverse effects of increased asymmetries in bargaining power, both on bargaining outcomes and institutional capacity.

luz escamilla Senator Luz Escamilla, Utah State Senate
Senator Luz Escamilla has represented District 1 in the Utah Senate since 2009, and is currently assistant minority whip and sits on several committees including the Executive Appropriations Committee. Senator Escamilla is also the director at Zion’s Bank Business Resource Center, assisting new business ventures and establishing businesses seeking to achieve maximum growth potential. In 2010, Senator Escamilla was named “Fifth most influential person in Utah” by the Deseret News, and her legislative work has been highlighted in national media like the Washington Post, CNN, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, Fox News, along with many others.

thomas ferguson Thomas Ferguson, Institute for New Economic Thinking
Thomas Ferguson is the Institute for New Economic Thinking’s Director of Research Projects and a member of its Advisory Board. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Senior Fellow at Better Markets. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Golden Rule (University of Chicago Press, 1995) and Right Turn (Hill & Wang, 1986), as well as numerous journal articles, which appeared in outlets such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Economic History. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Political Economy and a longtime Contributing Editor at The Nation. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and taught formerly at MIT and the University of Texas, Austin. His research focuses on financial regulation and stability as well as the political economy of income distribution.

erika george Erika George, University of Utah
Erika George is the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law where she teaches constitutional law, civil procedure, international human rights law, business and human rights, and international environmental law. She earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She also holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago. Prior to entering the legal academy, she practiced corporate litigation with law firms in Chicago and New York City. The BBC, The Economist, NBC News, and CNN have reported on investigations she conducted for Human Rights Watch documenting violations of international human rights law. She has published numerous law review articles and book chapters. Her current research examines efforts to hold corporations accountable for alleged rights violations. She is the author of Incorporating Rights, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

darrick hamilton Darrick Hamilton, Milano School of International Affairs, NY
Darrick Hamilton is jointly appointed as professor of economics and urban policy at The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and the Department of Economics, The New School for Social Research at The New School in New York. He is a faculty research fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, an associate director of the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics Program, an associate director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, and co-principal investigator of the National Asset Scorecard in Communities of Color Project (NASCC). He earned a B.A. from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Economics from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Professor Hamilton is a stratification economist, whose work focuses on the causes, consequences and remedies of racial and ethnic inequality in economic and health outcomes, which includes an examination of the intersection of identity, racism, colorism, and socioeconomic outcomes.

eunice han Eunice Han, University of Utah
Eunice Han is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. She is a senior research associate at the Worklife Program at Harvard Law School. She received her B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles, and Ph.D. from Harvard University. As a labor economist, Eunice studies how various institutions interact with the cultural and legal environments in the labor market. Her recent research focuses on the impact of unionism on income inequality, economic mobility, and educational inequality. Her work on the impact of unionism on intergenerational mobility and the effect of teachers unions on teacher dismissal has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Atlantic.

james holbrook James R. Holbrook, University of Utah
James Holbrook is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law where he teaches negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. He has mediated and arbitrated over 1,000 legal disputes. Before joining the fulltime law faculty in 2002, he practiced law for 28 years in Salt Lake City. He taught mediation in India in 2007 and 2010. In 2009 he ran a State Department-funded legal-assistance project in Iraq. He received a B.A. in 1966 from Grinnell College, an M.A. in 1968 from Indiana University, and a J.D. in 1974 from the University of Utah. He fought in combat in Vietnam in 1969, for which service he was awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal for Valor. He has written extensively about war and killing and is a subject of the documentary film about Vietnam veterans called "The Journey Home."

josh kanter Josh Kanter, Alliance for a Better Utah
Josh Kanter is the founder and current Board President of the Alliance for a Better Utah. In addition to his duties at Better Utah, he serves as President of Chicago Investments, Inc., Vice-President of Windy City, Inc., Vice President and a Director of the Kanter Family Foundation, President and a Director of Art Enterprises, Ltd, and counsel to the Chicago law firm, Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Nagelberg. He currently serves as a trustee at the Roland Hall St. Mark’s School, and is a member of the Young Benefactors Council at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, the Temple Har Shalom Art Committee, and the University of Chicago Law School Campaign Planning Group. In 2011, Josh received a Heart and Hands Award from the Utah Nonprofits Association, and was named to the Community Foundation of Utah’s E-5-0, an annual selection of 50 “enlightened entrepreneurs.”

thomas maloney Thomas N. Maloney, University of Utah
Thomas N. Maloney is Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. His research examines labor markets and demographic processes in the U.S., with an emphasis on issues of inequality in income and well-being in the long run. His work has appeared in the Journal of Economic History, Economic Inquiry, Social Science History, Economics and Human Biology, and numerous other journals, and he is the co-editor (with Kim Korinek) of Migration in the 21st Century: Rights, Outcomes, and Policy (Routledge 2010). He is the Director of the Barbara L. and Norman C. Tanner Center for Human Rights at the University of Utah, and from 2011 to 2017 he served as the chair of the Department of Economics. Maloney received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Dayton and master's and doctoral degrees in economics from the University of Michigan. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Urban Inequality at the University of Chicago from 1992 to 1994.

courtney mcbeth Courtney McBeth, University of Utah
Dr. Courtney H. McBeth, Ed.D. is special assistant to University of Utah President Ruth Watkins and project director for the American Dream Ideas Challenge, a statewide initiative funded by Schmidt Futures that seeks to strengthen Utah’s middle class. Dr. McBeth also leads campus initiatives in innovative financing and students success. She is an experienced higher education leader with a demonstrated history of building programs, curriculum, and community and working across disciplines and sectors in domestic and international settings in previous roles at the Hinckley Institute of Politics and the Sorenson Impact Center. She is an adjunct professor in the Eccles School of Business and teaches social entrepreneurship. Dr. McBeth received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in higher education management and her research is focused on social innovation in higher education.

ivan mendieta-munoz Ivan Mendieta-Muñoz, University of Utah
Ivan Mendieta-Muñoz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, USA. He was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico; and received a B.Sc. in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Subsequently, Mendieta-Muñoz received M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Kent in Canterbury, United Kingdom. Before joining the University of Utah in 2016, he taught at SOAS University of London, University of Kent and UNAM. His research interests span the fields of macroeconomic theory and applied macro-econometrics, with a focus on the interactions between business cycles and economic growth on the one hand, and income distribution and finance on the other. Other research interests fall in the areas of economic development in Latin America and in the history of economic thought.

lawrence mishel Lawrence Mishel, Economic Policy Institute, DC
Lawrence Mishel is a distinguished fellow at EPI after serving as president from 2002–2017. Mishel first joined EPI in 1987 as research director. In the more than three decades he has been with EPI, Mishel has helped build it into the nation’s premier research organization focused on U.S. living standards and labor markets. Mishel has co-authored all 12 editions of The State of Working America, a book that former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich says “remains unrivaled as the most-trusted source for a comprehensive understanding of how working Americans and their families are faring in today’s economy.” The State of Working America has been an invaluable resource in newsrooms, classrooms, and halls of power since 1988. Mishel earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His primary research interests include labor markets and education. He has written extensively on wage and job quality trends in the United States.

ella myers Ella Myers, University of Utah
Ella Myers, a political theorist, is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Division of Gender Studies at the University of Utah. Her research in the field of contemporary democratic theory includes the book Worldly Ethics: Democratic Politics and Care for the World (Duke University Press, 2013) as well as articles on Michel Foucault, Jacques Rancière, and the construction of neoliberal common sense, among others. Her current book project, Economies of Anti-Blackness: Du Bois and the Gratifications of Whiteness in the 21st Century, draws on the work of W.E.B. Du Bois to reflect on contemporary conditions of racial capitalism.

julia ott Julia Ott, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, NY
Julia Ott is Associate Professor in the History of Capitalism and the co-director of the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College at the New School. She is the author of When Wall Street Met Main Street: The Quest for an Investors’ Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2011), which received the Vincent DeSantis Prize from the Society of Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in 2013. She serves as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Ott co-edits Columbia Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism for Columbia University Press, and is a senior editor at Public Seminar. She earned a Ph.D. in history from Yale University. Prof. Ott’s research investigates how financial institutions, practices, and theories influence American political culture and how, in turn, policies and political beliefs shape economic behavior and outcomes.

marcel paret Marcel Paret, University of Utah
Marcel Paret is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Utah, and a Senior Research Associate in the Center for Social Change at the University of Johannesburg. He earned a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California-Berkeley. With specific emphasis on South Africa and the United States, his research examines the political causes and consequences of economic insecurity, including attention to postcolonial transitions, democratization, protest, social movements, community formation, popular attitudes, unions, political parties, race, and migration. He is co-editor of Southern Resistance in Critical Perspective: The Politics of Protest in South Africa's Contentious Democracy (Routledge, 2017).

peter philips Peter Philips, University of Utah
Peter Philips, Professor of Economics at the University of Utah, is a labor economist specializing in the construction labor market. He is the nation's recognized expert on the economics of prevailing wage laws and one of the foremost experts on the construction labor market, generally. Philips has related interests in worker safety, health economics, sports economics and economic history. He received his B.A. from Pomona College and his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His books on the construction labor market include Building Chaos: An International Comparison of the Effects of Deregulation on the Construction, (2003) and The Economics of Prevailing Wage Laws, (2005). His most recent papers include: "The Effect of Prevailing Wage Repeals on Construction Income and Benefits"; "Project Labor Agreements and Bidding Outcomes"; "The Link Between Good Jobs and a Low Carbon Future". In the summers, Philips is a volunteer ranger in the Grand Teton National Park.

codrina rada Codrina Rada, University of Utah
Codrina Rada is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Utah, and an Associate Editor of the Review of Keynesian Economics. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in 2007. Her current research gravitates around issues of economic growth and income distribution, with a specific interest in the effects of global economic integration on macroeconomic dynamics. Over the years she has published theoretical and empirical work that explores the economics of pensions and aging, and structural transformation in emerging economies. Her work has appeared in academic outlets such as Cambridge Journal of Economics, Columbia University Press, Journal of Policy Modeling, Journal of Population Ageing, Metroeconomica, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics and Development and Change. Codrina has also acted as a consultant for several UN agencies and the Carnegie Corporation of NY.

ellis scharfenaker Ellis Scharfenaker, University of Utah
Ellis Scharfenaker is Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. He was previously an Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He received his Ph.D. at the New School for Social Research. Professor Scharfenaker is currently a researcher at the United States Census Bureau. His research employs methods from Bayesian Statistics, Information Theory, and Statistical Mechanics to study and model the distributional properties of complex economic and social phenomena, including firm growth, profit rate equalization, the segmentation of labor markets and the distribution of income. He has published peer-reviewed papers in the fields of economics, statistics, and physics.

markus schneider Markus P. A. Schneider, University of Denver
Markus P. A. Schneider is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Denver, where he has been teaching since 2009. His research focuses on characterizing the distribution of income between individuals as well as between groups, on which he has published in economics and physics, and the measurement of inequality. He is the principal investigator of a project at the Rocky Mountain Federal Research Data Center (RMRDC) in Boulder, CO, to study the evidence for labor market segmentation (together with Ellis Scharfenaker and Paulo L. dos Santos). Dr. Schneider has also studied the evolution of inequality in the US, the impact of fiscal policy on the distribution of income in Europe, and the health consequences of income inequality.

stephanie seguino Stephanie Seguino, University of Vermont, VT
Stephanie Seguino is Professor of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Vermont. She has been an advisor or consultant to numerous international organizations including the World Bank, United Nations Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, and US AID, and publishes regularly in a number of economic journals, including World Development, Journal of Development Studies, and Feminist Economics. Dr. Seguino has also contributed her services to local and global living wage campaigns. Dr. Seguino earned a Ph.D. in economics from American University. Her research, centered in the areas of macroeconomics and development, explores the impact of globalization on income distribution and well-being, with a regional emphasis on Asian and Caribbean economies, and a focus on different dimensions of inequality, including along household, gender and ethnic lines.

tim smeeding Tim Smeeding, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Timothy M. Smeeding is the Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics. He was director of the Institute for Research on Poverty from 2008–2014. He was named the John Kenneth Galbraith Fellow, American Academy of Political and Social Science, in 2017, and was the founding director of the Luxembourg Income Study from 1983-2006. Professor Smeeding serves as a senior program associate for the William T. Grant Foundation’s program on Reducing Inequality. Professor Smeeding’s recent work has been on social and economic mobility across generations, inequality of income, consumption and wealth, and poverty in national and cross-national contexts. His recent books include SNAP Matters: How Food Stamps Affect Health and Well Being (Stanford University Press, 2015) and Monitoring Social Mobility in the 21st Century (Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 2015) and From Parents to Children: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage (Russell Sage Foundation, 2012). 

rudi von arnim Rudi von Arnim, University of Utah
Rudi von Arnim is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. His research interests focus on the (1) causes and consequences of inequality, specifically the precipitous decline in the fall of the share of income that accrues to labor, and the (2) reasons for the slowdown in the rate of growth across a number of advanced countries. He earned his PhD in economics at the New School for Social Research in New York, NY, in 2008. von Arnim has consulted for and collaborated with a number of organizations, including Oxfam, UNDP, and the ILO. Since 2014, von Arnim collaborates closely with ÖFSE (Austrian Foundation for Development Research, Vienna) on a series of projects related to structural heterogeneity as well as multilateral trade agreements.

norman waitzman

Norman Waitzman, University of Utah
Norman Waitzman, Professor and Chair at the Department of Economics at the University of Utah, is a health economist. His research focuses on the socioeconomic determinants of, and inequalities in, health, and, separately, health services research: the evaluation of cost of illness (including cost-effectiveness and cost/benefit analyses) and policy innovations in health care finance and delivery on health and cost outcomes. A significant contribution of this work has been in the area of pediatric conditions. Waitzman’s book on the societal cost of birth defects still serves as the standard referent in the discipline, as does his assessment of the societal cost of preterm birth for the Institute of Medicine’s Panel on Preterm Birth.

james wilson James Wilson, Russell Sage Foundation
James Wilson is Program Director at the Russell Sage Foundation, where he directs the Foundation’s Social Inequality program, coordinates the application process for its signature Visiting Scholars Program, and has helped develop and implement new special initiatives. His career trajectory can at best be described as unusual. After earning a degree in geology from UNC – Chapel Hill, he spent 10 years as a well-site and consulting geologist. He then spent a number of years tending bar, working in bicycle shops and skiing relentlessly when not working. After reevaluating his life prospects, he earned a Ph.D. in sociology at Vanderbilt University in 2001. He has held positions as Director of Research at the Tennessee Department of Correction, Senior Research Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice, and Professor of Sociology at Fordham University. His research has been published in scholarly outlets such as American Sociological Review, Criminology, and Social Science Research.
Last Updated: 3/25/21