Robert Lerman

Urban Institute and American University, USA, and IZA, Germany

IZA World of Labor role


Current position

Institute Fellow, Urban Institute, and Emeritus Professor of Economics, American University, USA

Research interest

Education and training, economics of the family, economic inequality, housing, social welfare policy

Positions/functions as a policy advisor

Panel Member, National Academy of Sciences, Study of Post-secondary Training and Education for Work; Member, Maryland Task Force on Apprenticeship and Economic Development

Past positions

Chair, Department of Economics, American University; Economist, Office of the Secretary, US Department of Labor; Staff Economist, Joint Economic Committee, USA


PhD Economics, MIT, 1970

Selected publications

  • “Income inequality effects by income source: A new approach and applications to the U.S.” Review of Economics and Statistics (1985) (with S. Yitzhaki).

  • “Income inequality and income stratification.” Review of Income and Wealth (1991) (with S. Yitzhaki).

  • “Are skills the problem? Reforming the education and training system in the United States.” In: A Future of Good Jobs. Kalamazoo, MI: Upjohn Institute, 2008; pp. 17–80.

  • “The impact of changing US family structure on child poverty and income inequality.” Economica 63:250 (1996): S119–S139. Reprinted in: Sattinger, M. (ed.). The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics: Income Distribution: II. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2001; pp. 104–124.

  • “US wage inequality trends and recent immigration.” American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings (May 1999): 23–28.