Richard Burkhauser


Richard Burkhauser

Sarah Gibson Blanding Professor of Policy Analysis
259, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Phone: 607-255-2097 Fax: 607-255-4071
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

My research focuses on how public policies affect the economic behavior and well-being of vulnerable populations, e.g., older persons, people with disabilities, and low-income households. I have published widely on these topics in journals of demography, economics, gerontology, as well as public policy.

Teaching and Advising Statement:

Each Fall semester I teach ECON 1110 Introduction to MIcroeconomics to around 450 students. The course is interactive with students using radio frequency clickers to respond to questions I present in my PowerPoint slides.  Rather than a straight lecture, this allows me to present a core set of ideas in class and then test students' understanding of them in the same way that I do in a small class. Depending on student responses I either continue with a new idea or reinforce the previous one. The class is paperless and students do problem sets each week that are graded online.  

Every other year I teach PAM 4460/ECON 3840 Economics of Social Security. This is a seminar course I lead with a maximum of 16 students. In the course we focus on how Social Security policy has developed over the years and its impact on the economic well-being and economic behavior of older persons and persons with disabilities.  To give students the tools for such a discussion, I first introduce the controversies surrounding the measurement of economic well-being. This includes a discussion of tax record- and survey-based measures of income and income inequality and how they relate to estimates of the distributional effects of Social Security over the lifecourse.  

Current Professional Activities:

Richard V. Burkhauser joined PAM in 1998. In 2012 he began a joint appointment as a Professorial Research Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (University of Melbourne).  He spends January through June at the University of Melbourne and July through December at Cornell University.  His professional career has focused on how public policies affect the economic behavior and well-being of vulnerable populations, e.g., older persons, people with disabilities, low-skilled workers. 

Current Research Activities:

Richard V. Burkhauser is currently focusing on issues related to better measuring  the economic well-being of the working-age population with disabilities. He is also exploring the sensitivity of measures of income and income inequality to alternative specifications of income including the market value of health insurance.

With research funding from the Australian Research Council (2015-2017), he is part of a research team that is investigating changes in income inequality and income mobility in Australia, Great Britain, and the United States.

Current Public Engagement Activities:

Burkhauser regularly presents his research findings on the consequences of disability policy to Congressional committees, government agencies, and consumer groups.


B.A., Economics, St. Vincent College, 1963-1967
M.A., Economics, Rutgers University, 1967-1969
Ph.D., Economics, University of Chicago, 1972-1976

Courses Taught:

ECON 1110: Introductory Microeconomics
PAM 4460/ECON 3840: Economics of Social Security

Selected Publications:

Publications 2008-present with links to papers

Selected Keywords:
labor economist, social security, income inequality, disability policy, retirement policy, minimum wage

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.