Solomon W. Polachek is a Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York at Binghamton (Binghamton University), where he has taught since 1983. He is also a Professional Fellow (2017-2019) in the Business at Liverpool Hope University. At Binghamton, he holds appointments in the Economics and Political Science Departments, and from 1996-2000 he served as Dean of the Arts and Sciences College. His Ph.D. is from Columbia University, and he has had post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago (1972 -1973) and Stanford University (1979-1980).

Polachek's prime research contributions span two areas. First is the application of life-cycle models to labor economics. Here Polachek was the first to illustrate how life-cycle human capital models explain male-female wage differentials. His extensions of this work modified traditional human capital models by introducing human capital heterogeneity to explain gender-based occupational segregation. In another application, he imbedded search, job choice, and geographic location into the human capital model, enabling him to gain insight into the analysis of geographic and job mobility including how search over the life-cycle can explain migration periodicity. A byproduct of the empirical work led to an econometric technique to estimate buyer and seller information about wages and prices. Polachek's research in this area constitutes over 150 journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations, including the book The Economics of Earnings (Cambridge University Press) 1993 written with W. Stanley Siebert. Polachek has testified about the policy implications of this research to various governmental committees and policy boards, and many of the implications have been described in the popular press including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Second is the integration of economics and political science to explain conflict and cooperation among nations. This research has been widely received in the political science field leading to over 20 publications and conference presentations. In recognition of this work, Polachek was chosen to serve on editorial boards of Conflict Management and Peace Science (since 1989), the International Studies Quarterly (1989-1995) and as co-editor of Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy (since 1993). Polachek was elected President of the Peace Science Society (International) serving from 1999-2000. Although primarily devoted to applying economics tools to international relations, this research has implications regarding industrial relations, particularly union wage negotiations and strike activity.

Polachek has presented seminars and workshops at over 50 universities and research centers world-wide, and has visited Bar-Ilan University, Catholic University of Leuven, Erasmus University, Tel Aviv University, the Tinbergen Institute, the University of Michigan, Kasetsart University (Thailand), and Princeton University for extended stays. In the past, he served on the Editorial Board of SUNY Press and the Board of Editors of the Journal of Income Inequality. Currently is Series Editor of Research in Labor Economics and is an Associate Editor of the Review of Economics of the Household.

Solomon Polachek joined IZA as a Research Fellow in December 2000.

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IZA Discussion Paper No. 10922

This paper examines how human capital based approaches explain the distribution of earnings. It assesses traditional, quasi-experimental, and new micro-based structural models, the latter of which gets at population heterogeneity by estimating individual-specific earnings function parameters. The paper finds one's ability to learn and one's ability to retain knowledge are...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10866
Marlon R. Tracey, Solomon Polachek
forthcoming in: Journal of Health Economics

Data from the first two waves of the Fragile Family and Child Wellbeing study indicate that infants who look like their father at birth are healthier one year later. The reason is such father-child resemblance induces a father to spend more time engaged in positive parenting. An extra day (per...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10723
forthcoming in: Atlantic Economic Journal

The "joint costs" model states that the incentive to strike is inversely related to the total costs associated with workers' and firms' strike activities. Not only has this model been tested with mixed results, but also the joint costs model is problematic in explaining several stylized facts in the strike...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10534
forthcoming in: Journal of Econometrics

We derive a non-standard unit root serial correlation formulation for intertemporal adjustments in the labor force participation rate. This leads to a tractable three-error component model, which in contrast to other models embeds heterogeneity into the error structure. Unlike in the typical iid three-error component two-tier stochastic frontier model, our...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10169
Nekeisha Spencer, Solomon Polachek, Eric Strobl
forthcoming in: Natural Hazards

This study examines whether hurricanes have any impact on performance in standardized examinations. The analysis uses a panel of thirteen Caribbean countries and over 800 schools for the period 1993 through 2010. In particular, the effect on subjects in the humanities and sciences are examined. A generalized difference-in-difference technique is...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9439
Nekeisha Spencer, Solomon Polachek
published in: Ecological Economics, 2015, 120, 234-240.

This study utilizes a panel fixed effects model to explore the economic impact of hurricanes on local crop production in Jamaica using quarterly 1999-2008 micro level data. We find, in general, that hurricanes will have a negative impact on production but not for crops grown below ground. The exceptions for...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8603
published in: Esther Redmount (ed.), The Economics of the Family: How the Household Affects Markets and Economic Growth, 2014, 2, 27-66.

The gender wage gap varies across countries. For example, among OECD nations women in Australia, Belgium, Italy and Sweden earn 80% as much as males, whereas in Austria, Canada and Japan women earn about 60%. Current studies examining cross-country differences focus on the impact of labor market institutions such as...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8570
published in: Gender Convergence in the Labor Market, Research in Labor Economics, 41, 2015, 35-88.

This paper shows how a shorter fecundity horizon for females (a biological constraint) leads to age and educational disparities between husbands and wives. Empirical support is based on data from a natural experiment commencing before and ending after China's 1980 one-child law. The results indicate that fertility in China declined...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8056
Kyung-Gon Lee, Solomon Polachek
forthcoming in: Education Economics

This paper analyzes how changes in school expenditures affect dropout rates and standardized test scores based on data from 465 school districts in New York during the 2003/04 to the 2008/09 school years. Past traditional regression approaches show inconsistent results of school expenditures because of an endogeneity problem. The regression...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8023
published in: Contemporary Economic Policy, 2015, 33 (4), 619-635.

We examine the effect of California Paid Family Leave (CPFL) on young women's (less than 42 years of age) labor force participation and unemployment. CPFL enables workers to take at most six weeks of paid leave over a 12 month period in order to bond with new born or adopted...

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