Income Inequality and Social Mobility

Thursday, July 10th ~ 2014
Charles Murray, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Timothy Smeeding, director at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin. Moderator: Belle Sawhill, a founder of the Seminars and senior fellow at Brookings Institution.


Timothy SmeedingTimothy Smeeding is a professor of public affairs and economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and director of the Institute for Research and Poverty. He also is a faculty fellow at the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University, a senior research affiliate at the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan and a faculty fellow at the Employee Benefit Research Institute. His recent work is on low-income men and their role as fathers; mobility across generations; and inequality of income consumption and wealth and the measurement of poverty in a national and cross-national context.

Before coming to Wisconsin-Madison, he was the founding director of the Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University and taught economics at the University of Bowdoin, University of Utah and Vanderbilt University.

Smeeding has won many academic awards for his writing and research. His publications include From Parents to Children, co-edited with John Ermicsch and Markus Jantti; The Handbook of Economic Inequality, co-edited with Brian Nolan and Weimer Salverda; Poor Kids in a Rich Country: American’s Children in Comparative Perspective, co-authored with Lee Rainwater; The Future of the Family, co-edited by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Lee Rainwater; and The American Welfare State: Laggard or Leader? with Irv Garfinkel and Lee Rainwater.

In 2011 Smeeding published two edited volumes, Young Disadvantaged Men: Fathers, Families, Poverty, and Policy, with Irv Garfinkel and Ron Mincy, and Persistence, Privilege and Parenting: The Comparative Study of Intergenerational Mobility, with Robert Erikson and Markus Jantti.

Smeeding graduated from Canisius College and received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Charles MurrayCharles Murray is a political scientist and author. He first came to national attention in 1984 with the publication of Losing Ground, which has been credited as the intellectual foundation for the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. His 1994 New York Times bestseller, The Bell Curve, coauthored with the late Richard J. Herrnstein, sparked heated controversy for its analysis of the role of IQ in shaping America’s class structure. Murray’s other books include What It Means to Be a Libertarian, Human Accomplishment, In Our Hands and Real Education. His most recent book, Coming Apart, describes an unprecedented divergence in American classes over the last half century.

Murray has been a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute since 1990. His areas of research include marriage, family and social mores; libertarianism; human intelligence and social structure; culture; and crime.

Previously, he was a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a research scientist at the American Institutes for Research and a Peace Corps volunteer and US-AID contractor in Thailand.

Murray received a B.A. from Harvard University with a major in history and a Ph.D. in political science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.