Isaac Ehrlich

SUNY Distinguished Professor
UB Distinguished Professor
Melvin H. Baker Professor of American Enterprise
Finance Department

  • Director of the Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
  • Director of the 3E Human Capital program (CAS)
  • Research Associate (senior title), National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
  • Research Fellow at IZA – Institute of Labor Economics, Bonn, Germany
  • Member of The Wittgenstein Centre International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), Vienna, Austria
  • Honorary Doctorate (Docteur Honoris Causa), University of Orleans, France
  • Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human Capital, a University of Chicago Press publication.

Education

PhD, Columbia University
BA, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Research Interests and Activities

Isaac Ehrlich is SUNY and University at Buffalo (UB) Distinguished Professor of Finance and Melvin H. Baker Professor of American Enterprise at the School of Management, and professor of Economics and director of the UB Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is also included in the prestigious Who’s Who in Economics, a biographical dictionary of major economists’ 1700-1980, in the first and all subsequent editions.

Ehrlich serves as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow at IZA, and the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Human Capital, published by the University of Chicago Press. He also is a member of the advisory board of the Asian Journal of Law and Economics.

Ehrlich is the author of numerous articles in top economics journals on law and economics; human capital and health economics; information and advertising; risk and insurance; financial economics, social security and population aging; entrepreneurship and immigration; and endogenous economic growth and development. He has edited books on National Health Policy: What Role for Government? (Hoover Institution Press); the three-volume Economics of Crime –The International Library of Critical Writings in Economics (Edward Elgar); and a special issue of the Journal of Political Economy on The Problem of Development (1990).

Ehrlich has also rendered important public service. He served as a member of the transition team of President Ronald Reagan in 1981-82; member of Hong Kong Government's Health Services Research Committee headed by minister Elizabeth Wong in 1993; and member of the Council of Economic Advisors of New York Governor David A. Patterson from 2008-10. He served from 2014-16 as a member of the National Academies of Sciences’ Panel on the Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration.

Previous Academic Positions

  • Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, 1969-78
  • Senior Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1969-77
  • Lecturer, Tel-Aviv University, 1971-72
  • Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Economics, University of Virginia, 1973
  • Visiting Professor of Economics, Hong Kong Univ. of Science & Technology, 1992-93.

Academic Honors

  • Invited by the President of the Asian Development Bank, Takehiko Nakao, to deliver a lecture at ADB’s Distinguished Speakers Program in Manila, the Philippines, on August 2, 2019.
  • Appointed a Research Fellow by the Hong Kong Institute of Economic and Financial Research of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to work on the project “Financial challenges facing individuals and households at old age: an international comparison using comparable longitudinal panel data” over the period July 15 to August 10, 2019 in Hong Kong.
  • Appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to serve as a member of the Panel on the Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration, December 2013–December 2017.
  • Invited by Professor Evgeny Yasin, Chairman of the Conference program Committee of the National Research University, Higher School of Economics (HSE) in Moscow to deliver a keynote (“Honorary”) lecture “Why Nations Succeed? A Case Study in Endogenous Growth Theory” at the HSE Int’l Conference in Moscow, Russia, April 2, 2014
  • Selected by the International Health Economic Association, iHEA, to present the association’s inaugural international webinar, on “Health Spending and Population Aging in a Model of Endogenous Growth, or How Far can the GDP share of health spending keep rising?” delivered on May 21, 2014.
  • A Case Study in Endogenous Growth Theory” at the HSE Int’l Conference in Moscow, Russia, April 2, 2014 “
  • Appointed Research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany, 2011.
  • Appointed Founding member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, Sponsored by the World Population Program at IIASA, Vienna, the Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Vienna University of Economics and Business, September 2011-
  • Selected as Research Fellow at the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, May 21-July 3, 2009.
  • Appointed and served as member of the Council of Economic Advisors to New York State Governor, David A. Patterson, August 18, 2008-2010.
  • Named: Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human capital, a publication of the University of Chicago Press, by the Board of University of Chicago Publications, starting in 2007 -.
  • Named SUNY Distinguished Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees, March 2006
  • Named NYSTAR Distinguished Professor of 2005 by the New York Office of Science, Technology, and Academic Research
  • Elected by the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research a Research Associate (permanent appointment) to serve in the NBER program on Health Economics, April 19, 2004; Cross listed in the NBER’s research program on Aging by NBER President, Jim Poterba, December 4, 2008.
  • Honorary Doctorate (Docteur Honoris Causa) from the University of Orleans, France – ceremony held in fall 2002 in Orleans, France
  • Ranked No. 61 for total citations, and No. 37 for total citations, based on the number of years following the PhD, in Medoff's Ranking of Economists, Journal of Economic Education, fall 1989. Also ranked among the 100 most cited economists in Marshall H. Medoff's “A Citation-Based Analysis of Economists and Economic Programs,” The American Economist Vol. 40, No. 1 (spring 1996)
  • Appointed Honorary Professor at the City University of Hong Kong, 1999-2008
  • Admitted as member of the prestigious Mont Pellerin Society, fall 1998
  • Selected to appear in Who is Who in Economics: A Bibliographical Dictionary of Major Economists 1700-1980, Mark Blaug and Paul Sturges, eds., Cambridge: The MIT Press, first edition, 1983. Also selected to appear in all subsequent editions of this collection.
  • Appointed Member of the U.S. Presidential Health Policy Advisory Group and the transition team for Health Policy (1980-81)

Grants and Awards

  • Awarded a 3E Grant from the University at Buffalo for the project “A Human Capital Agenda for Educational and Economic Development” on behalf of the Center for Human Capital and the Graduate School of Education, $1,232,438 for FY 2012/13-2015/16. The 3E was extended with permanent funding in August 2016.
  • Helios Corporation grant for "Examining the Implementation of the Florida College Access Network and its impact on local college access network," Nathan Daun-Barnett and Isaac Ehrlich Co-Principal Investigators and Yong Yin Member of the research team, May 2015, $120,000.
  • Contract awarded by the New York State Comptroller to provide an assessment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on the New York State Economy, March 2009.
  • Faculty Development grant, New York Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR), 2006-09
  • "Life Protection and the Value of Life Saving," Chaire D'Economie et de Gestion de la Sante, Institut D'Etudes Politiques De Paris (1996-97)
  • "Income Growth and Income Equality, An International Comparison," Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, Taiwan (1994-96)
  • "Economics of transition," HKUST (1992-94)
  • 5-year grant from the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID) for studies in economic growth and development (1987-92)
  • Grants in Law and Economics from the National Science Foundation through the NBER (1970-78) and from the U.S. Department of Justice (1979-87)

Professional Activities

General Activities

  • Editor in Chief, Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, 2007 -
  • Appointed to the Advisory Editorial board of the Asian Journal of Law and Economics, 2010 -
  • Member of the Panel of Economic Advisors to former Gov. David Patterson 2008-2010
  • Consultant to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, providing annual forecasts of the State's tax revenue (a job similar to CBO’s), heading a team from the Center for Human Capital, December 2007-2012
  • Director, Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer, and Economic Growth and Development, University at Buffalo, March 2006-present
  • Editorial Board of the SUNY Press – 2004-2009
  • Research Associate in the Health Economics and Aging Programs of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and participant in NBER’s Working groups on Social Security and National Security. 2004-
  • Member of the Mont Pellerin Society
  • Director, Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise Systems, School of Management, University at Buffalo, 1987-92
  • Member of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth of the NBER
  • The American Economic Association (AEA)
  • The Western and Atlantic Economic Association
  • The American Law and Economics Association
  • Chair of numerous sessions in past AEA meetings
  • Referee for several major journals

International Activities

  • Research Fellow at the Hong Kong Institute of Economic and Financial Research, Hong Kong –July 2019
  • Research and Residential Fellow at the Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo, Japan April 2018
  • Appointed Founding member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, Sponsored by the World Population Program at IIASA, Vienna, the Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the Vienna University of Economics and Business, September 2011-
  • Affiliate Professor to the University of Haifa, Israel, appointed by the university's president and provost in June 2005
  • Associate member of the Institute of Policy Analysis of the University of Toronto 1992-2010
  • Visiting Professor at Universite D’Orleans, Institut D'Etudes des Sciences Politiques, Paris, and Universite Pantheon-Assa (Paris II), France 1994-2007
  • Board of Academic Advisors, Hong Kong Center of Economic Research, Hong Kong University 1992-
  • Visiting Professor and Project Manager, The Economics of Transition, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (1992-94)
  • Member of the Hong Kong Government's Health Services Committee and the Expert Subcommittee on Government Grants and Awards (1993-94) by appointment from Secretary Elizabeth Wong in Gov. Christopher Patton’s Administration

Selected Publications

Selected Journal Articles

“Introducing Volume 2 of Celebrating the Life and Work of Gary Becker,” Journal of Human Capital vol. 13, no. 2 (Summer 2019): 137-139.

“Was Higher Education a Major Channel through which the US Became an Economic Superpower in the 20th Century?, with Adam Cook, Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy 23:4, 515-553, 2018. 1st published online: 23 Oct 2018;

Isaac Ehrlich, Adam Cook, and Yong Yin, “What Accounts for the US Ascendancy to Economic Superpower by the Early Twentieth Century? The Morrill Act–Human Capital Hypothesis”, Journal of Human Capital, vol. 12, no. 2, summer 2018, 233-281.

“Celebrating the life and work of Gary Becker”, Journal of Human Capital, vol. 12, no.2, summer 2018, 173-181.

“The Problem of the Uninsured” (with Yong Yin), Research in Economics, Elsevier, Inc., Research in Economics 72 (2018) 147–168.

“The Role of Entrepreneurial Human Capital as a Driver of Endogenous Economic Growth”, with Dunli Li and Zhiqiang Liu, Journal of Human Capital, vol 11(3) fall 2017, 310-51.

“Special issue in Honor of Ronald H. Coase”, Journal of Human Capital vol. 11 (3) fall 2017, 297-309.

“The Role of Immigration in Long-Run Economic Growth”, Chapters 6.5 and 6.8 (Technical Appendix) in The Economic and Fiscal Consequences of Immigration, Francisne Blau and Christopher Mackie (eds.), a Report of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, The National Academies press, Washington DC, 2017, pp.297-312 and 317-318.

“Economics of Criminal Law, Crime and Punishment” Lead article (chapter 15) of Part III: Crime and Punishment, in The Oxford Handbook of Law and Economics, Volume 3: Public Law and Legal Institutions, Francesco Parisi (ed.), Oxford University Press UK, April 2017, pp. 295-324. Online Publication Date:  May 2017 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199684250.013.022

“Immigration, Human Capital Formation and Endogenous Economic Growth”, with Jinyoung Kim, Journal of Human Capital, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 518-563, 2015.

“Equilibrium Health Spending and Population Aging in a Model of Endogenous Growth: Will the GDP Share of Health Spending Keep Rising?” with Yong Yin, Journal of Human Capital, 2013, vol. 7, no. 4, December 2013.

“Private Information, Human Capital, and Optimal “Home Bias” in Financial markets”, with Jong Kook Shin and Yong Yin, Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol 5(3), pages 255-301, 2011.

“Taxing Crime vs. Taxing Guns: An Application of the Market for Offenses Model”, Journal of Economic Modeling, with Saito Tetsuya, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), 670-689, September 2010.

“Human Capital and Imperfectly Informed International Financial markets”, with Jong Kook Shin. American Economic Review, vol. 100(2), 244-49, May 2010.

“The Market Model Of Crime – A Short Review And New Directions”, lead article, in Handbook on the Economics of Crime Bruce L. Benson and Paul R. Zimmerman, eds. Edward Elgar Publications, 2010.

“Economics of Crime” in 21st Century Economics: A Reference Handbook, Rhonda C. Free ed., Sage Publications, 2010.

"The mystery of human capital as engine of growth, or why the US became the economic superpower in the 20th century," Ensayos Económicos, Central Bank of Argentina, Economic Research Department, vol. 1(56), 41-93, October, 2009.

“Asset Management, Human Capital, and the Market for Risky Assets” (lead article), with William Hamlen Jr., and Yong Yin, Journal of Human Capital, vol. 2 (3), 2008, 217-262.

"The Mystery of Human Capital as Engine of Growth, or Why the US Became the Economic Superpower in the Twentieth Century." In The Mystery of Capital and the Construction of Social Reality, edited by Barry Smith, David Mark, and Isaac Ehrlich. Chicago: Open Court, 2008, 113-158.

“Economics of Deterrence – Theory” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition, edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume, Palgrave Macmillan (Basingstoke and New York), May 2008.

"The Evolution of Income and Fertility Inequalities over the Course of Economic Development: A Human Capital Perspective", with Jinyoung Kim, Journal of Human Capital, inaugural issue, vol. 1, Winter 2007

"Why Does Human Capital Need a Journal?", with Kevin M. Murphy, Journal of Human Capital, inaugural issue, vol. 1, Winter 2007

“Economics of Deterrence – Theory” in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition, edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume, Palgrave Macmillan (Basingstoke and New York), forthcoming, 2008.

“Economics of Crime” in The Encyclopedia of law and Society, edited by David S. Clark, Sage Publications, CA: Thousand Oaks, 2006.

“Explaining Diversities in Age-Specific Life Expectancies and Values of Life Saving: A Numerical Analysis”, with Yong Yin, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(2) 2005, 129-162.

“Endogenous Fertility, Longevity, and Economic Dynamics: Using a Malthusian Framework to Account for the Historical Evidence on Population and Economic Growth”, with Jinyoung Kim, Journal of Asian Economics, issue 15 (6) 2005, 789-806.

"Social Security: From Pay-As-You-Go Systems to an Individual-Based Capitalization System" (text in English; title in Spanish: Prevision social: de los regimens de reparto a los de capitalizacion individual). Published as part of a three articles series ("Conferencias"), along with contributions by Gary Becker and Joseph Stiglitz. Revista de Ciencias Empresariales Y Economia, vol 2 (2003).

“The Growth-Inequality Nexus without Borrowing Restrictions or Government Intervention: Some Implications from a Prototype Model”, with C.W. Yuen, Annals of Economics and Finance Vol. 1, December 2000, 283-301.

"Uncertain Lifetime, Life Protection, and the Value of Life Saving", Journal of Health Economics (May 2000).

"Bureaucratic Corruption and Economic growth", with F. T. Lui, Journal of Political Economy (October 1999).

"Sensitivity Analyses of the Deterrence Hypothesis: Let's Keep the Econ in Econometrics" (with Z. Liu), Journal of Law and Economics (April 1999).

"Social Security, the Family, and Economic Growth" (with F. Lui), Economic Inquiry (July 1998).

"Social Security and the Real Economy: An Inquiry into Some neglected Issues" (with J. Zhong), American Economic Review (May 1998).

"Crime, Punishment, and the Market for Offenses", Journal of Economic Perspectives (Winter 1996).

"Optimal Portfolio and Consumption Decisions in a Stochastic Environment with Precommitment" (with W.A. Hamlen, Jr.), lead article, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control(April 1995).

"Productivity Growth and Firm Ownership" (with G. Gallais-Hamonno, R. Lutter and Z. Liu), Journal of Political Economy (October 1994).

"Intergenerational Trade, Longevity, and Economic Growth" (with F. Lui), Journal of Political Economy (October 1991).

"The Problem of Development-Introduction" Journal of Political Economy (October 1990).

"The Demand for Longevity and the Value of Life Extension" (with H. Chuma), Journal of Political Economy (August 1990).

"On the Issue of Causality in Crime Control" (with G. Brower), American Economic Review (May 1987).

"The Optimum Enforcement of Laws and the Concept of Justice: A Positive Analysis", lead article, International Review of Law and Economics (June 1982).

"The Derived Demand for Advertising: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation" (with L. Fisher), American Economic Review (June 1982).

"On the Usefulness of Controlling Individuals:An Economic Analysis of Rehabilitation, Incapacitation and Deterrence", American Economic Review (June 1981).

"Capital Punishment and Deterrence: Some Further Thoughts and Additional Evidence", Journal of Political Economy Aug, 1977.

"Asset Management, Allocation of Time and Returns to Savings" (with U. Ben-Zion), Economic Inquiry (December 1976).

"The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment--A Question of Life and Death", American Economic Review (June 1975).

"Participation in Illegitimate Activities--A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation", lead article, Journal of Political Economy (May-June 1973).

"Market Insurance, Self-Insurance and Self-Protection" (with G. Becker), lead article, Journal of Political Economy (July-August 1972).

Books and Collections

The Mystery of Capital and the New Philosophy of Social Reality (tentative title), co-editor (with Barry Smith and David Mark), Open Court Publishing Company, Chicago, June 2008.

Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, Editor in Chief, volume 1, December 2007 –

The Economics of Crime (editor, with Z. Liu). A three-volume book of readings on the subject. Selected as part of the collection: "International Library of Critical Writings in Economics" (Mark Blaug, general editor), Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. London, England (2006).

National Health Policy: What Role for Government (editor), Proceedings of the Conference on National Health Policy held at Stanford University in March of 1980, Stanford: Hoover Institution Press (1982).

The Problem of Development (editor), Journal of Political Economy (October 1990).

National Health Policy: What Role for Government (editor), Proceedings of the Conference on National Health Policy held at Stanford University in March of 1980, Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1982.

The Problem of Development (editor), Journal of Political Economy (October 1990).

Problems in Economic Theory.  A complement to Economic Theory by Gary S. Becker, in mimeographed form, University of Chicago.