Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor

About Kerwin Charles

Kerwin Charles is the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor and former interim Dean at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.

His research focuses on a range of questions in labor and applied microeconomics. The topics he has studied include racial and gender discrimination in the labor market; the propagation of wealth and earnings across different generations within a family; the effects of sectoral shocks in the economy on college attainment, occupational choice, and labor market participation; how adverse health shocks affect family stability and labor supply; and differences in visible consumption across different racial and ethnic groups.

He holds a master’s degree and a doctorate from Cornell University, and joined the University of Chicago in 2005 after teaching economics and public policy at the University of Michigan. In addition to his appointment at the University of Chicago, he is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and serves on the Board of Trustees for NORC.

"It's astounding that, in terms of economic rank, a black man in the middle of his economic distribution is no closer to his white counterpart in terms of earnings than was his grandfather." - Kerwin Charles on the black-white earnings gap