Gary S. Fields

Cornell University, USA, and IZA, Germany

IZA World of Labor role

Author, Topic spokesperson


Developing countries, (Un)employment, Poverty and inequality, Economic mobility


United States


English - Native speaker, Spanish - Non-native speaker, French - Non-native speaker

Media experience

Print, Digital, Television, Radio


Current position

Professor of Economics and John P. Windmuller Chair of International and Comparative Labor, Cornell University, USA

Positions/functions as a policy advisor

Advisor to the World Bank, WIDER, Asian Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, International Labor Organization, Global Development Network and the United Nations, among others

Past positions

Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics, Yale University, USA 1972–1978


PhD Economics, University of Michigan, 1972

Selected publications

  • Working Hard, Working Poor. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.Distribution and Development. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press and the Russell Sage Foundation, 2001.

  • “Labor market modeling and the urban informal sector: Theory and evidence.” In: Turnham, D., B. Salomé, and A. Schwarz (eds). The Informal Sector Revisited. Paris: OECD, 1990.

  • “On inequality comparisons.” Econometrica (1978) (with J. C. H. Fei).

  • “Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job search activity in LDCs.” Journal of Development Economics (1975).