WMU to host discussion on the fall and rise of income equality in the U.S.

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Dr. Charles Ballard, MSU.


KALAMAZOO—A Michigan State University professor will address the fluctuations in income equality as part of the 2017-18 Werner Sichel Lecture Series at Western Michigan University.

Dr. Charles Ballard, MSU professor of economics, will speak from noon to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, in 2028 Brown Hall. His presentation, titled " The Fall and Rise of Income Equality in the Unites States," is free and open to the public. A light lunch reception will follow the lecture.


Ballard has been on the economics faculty at MSU since 1983, when he received his doctoral degree from Stanford University. In 2007, he became director of the State of the State Survey in MSU's Institute for Public Policy in Social Research. Also in 2007, he won the Outstanding Teacher Award in MSU's College of Social Science.

He is chair of the board of directors of the Michigan League for Public Policy and he has served as a consultant with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services and Treasury. He also has served with research institutes in Australia, Denmark and Finland.

Ballard's books include "Michigan at the Millennium" and "Michigan's Economic Future." He has several awards and honors to his credit, including grants from the National Science Foundation. He has published many journal articles, book chapters and proceedings, research reports and conference presentations. He has been a reviewer for numerous major economics journals, such as American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Education, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Pubic Economics and Scandinavian Journal of Economics. He also has done extensive work with the news media, including hundreds of interviews with print, broadcast and online media and has made numerous presentations to community and business organizations.

Upcoming Sichel presentations

The theme of this year's Sichel Series is "Political Economy of Inequality: U.S. and Global Dimensions." Other dates, presenters and topics in this year's series are:

  • Oct. 25: Dr. James Hines Jr., professor of economics and law, University of Michigan, "Income Inequality, Progressive Taxation and Tax Expenditures."
  • Jan. 17: Dr. Mary E. Corcoran, professor of public policy, political science and women's studies, University of Michigan, "America's Unequal Playing Field: The Gaps Between Poor and Rich Children's Resources."
  • Feb. 14: Dr. David Lam, professor of economics and director of the Institute for Social Research, "Why has Income Inequality Increased while Education Inequality Has Decreased in Many Developing Countries."
  • March 28: Dr. Howard Stein, professor in the Department of Afro American and African Studies and the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health, University of Michigan, "Institutions, Structures and Policy Paradigms in Sub-Saharan Africa: Toward Understanding Inequality.

The Sichel Series

The Sichel Series is organized by the WMU Department of Economics and named in honor of Werner Sichel, a longtime WMU economics professor and former department chair, who retired in 2004. The series is cosponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. The lectures are open to the public and formatted with the general public in mind.

This year's series is being organized by Drs. Sisay Asefa and Wei-Chiao Huang, WMU professors of economics.

For more information, contact Asefa at sisay.asefa@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5556 or Huang at wei-chiao.huang@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5528.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.