Isaac Ehrlich holds the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor and serves as UB Distinguished Professor of Economics, Melvin H. Baker Professor of American Enterprise, and Professor in the Economics Department at the University at Buffalo (UB), State University of New York (SUNY).
He also serves as director of the UB Center for Human Capital, Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research Health and Aging programs, and founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human Capital, published by the University of Chicago press.
He has previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago and has also taught or served as a visiting scholar at the Tel Aviv University, the University of Virginia, the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. In 2002 He was awarded an honorary PhD degree from the University of Orleans, France, for his contributions to economics science.

His areas of research cover a wide gamut of applications of economic theory to human behavior and social institutions including crime and corruption, law and economics, information and advertising, risk and uncertainty, health and longevity, old-age insurance, and economic growth and development. A major theme of his current work is the role of knowledge and human capital in endogenous growth and development, demographic changes, income distribution, asset management, and the performance of financial markets. A closely related theme has been rationalizing observed variations in health, life expectancy, and the value of life saving over the life cycle and across generations and their interdependence with human capital accumulation.

He has been the recipient of major grants from NSF to the law and economics program at the NBER, from the USAID to study private-sector induced economic development, and from the New York Agency of Science, Technology, and Academic Research (NYSTAR) for his work on human capital. He has also served as a member of the US Presidential Health Policy Advisory group and the Transition Team on Health Policy for President Ronald Reagan, the Hong Kong Government's Health Services Research Committee headed by Secretary Elizabeth Wong, and the Council of Economic Advisors of New York State Governor David A. Paterson.

He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in October 2011.