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.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 1803
Leo Turcotte, John Robst, Solomon Polachek
published in: Applied Economics, 2006, 38 (13), 1513-1525

We extend prior research on the effect of managed care on the receipt of four medical interventions for pregnant women: ultrasound, induction/stimulation of birth, electronic fetal monitor, and cesarean delivery. Propensity score methods are used to account for sample selection issues regarding insurance choice. Managed care enrollees are more likely...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1735
published in: Research in Labor Economics, 2006, 24, 35-75

In this paper, we define a tractable procedure to measure worker incomplete information in the labor market. The procedure, which makes use of earnings distribution skewness, is based on econometric frontier estimation techniques, and is consistent with search theory. We apply the technique to eleven countries over various years, and...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1334
published in: Indian Journal of Economics and Business, 2004, 3 (special issue), 29-42.

One issue the literature neglects is how outsourcing stimulates trade (imports, exports and foreign direct investment), thereby affecting political relations. However, at least as far back as 1750, economic philosophers such as Baron de Montesquieu in his L’Esprit des Lois, argued, “peace is the natural effect of trade.” This paper...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1102
published in: F. Blau, M. Brinton, and D. Grusky, (eds.) The Declining Significance of Gender?, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2006

This paper explores secular changes in women’s pay relative to men’s pay. It shows how the human capital model predicts a smaller gender wage gap as male-female lifetime work expectations become more similar. The model explains why relative female wages rose almost unabated from 1890 to the early-1990s in the...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 896
published in: Phanindra V. Wunnava (ed.), The Changing Forms of Unions: New Forms of Representation, M.E. Sharpe 2004

This paper is composed of two parts. First, using international data, I corroborate that union density in the U.S. declined because of asymmetric growth between the union and nonunion sectors. I show union density to increase in countries experiencing strong manufacturing growth, and to decline in countries undergoing large women’s...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 865
published in: Review of Economics of the Household, 2003, 1 (4), 273-304

In 1958 Jacob Mincer pioneered an important approach to understand earnings distribution. In the years since Mincer’s seminal work, he as well as his students and colleagues extended the original human capital model, reaching important conclusions about a whole array of observations pertaining to human wellbeing. This line of research...