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 Chair of 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.

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Publications

IZA Discussion Paper No. 11048

We model investment in entrepreneurial human capital (EHC) – the representative enterprise's share of production capacity allocated to investment in innovative industrial and commercial knowledge – as a distinct channel through which firm-specific human capital drives endogenous growth. Our model suggests that institutional factors supporting free markets for goods and...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9599

Census data from international sources covering 77% of the world's migrant population indicate that the skill composition of migrants in major destination countries, including the US, has been rising over the last four decades. Moreover, the population share of skilled migrants has been approaching or exceeding that of skilled natives....

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7928
revised version published in: Journal of Human Capital, 7(4), 411-447

The apparently unrelenting growth in the GDP-share of health spending (SHS) has been a perennial issue of policy concern. Does an equilibrium limit exist? The issue has been left open in recent dynamic models which take income growth and population aging as given. We view these variables as endogenously determined...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6920

The problem of the uninsured – those eschewing the purchase of health insurance policies – cannot be fully understood without considering informal alternatives to market insurance called "self-insurance" and "self-protection", including the publicly and charitably-financed safety-net health care system. This paper tackles the problem of the uninsured by formulating a...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6060
Isaac Ehrlich, Jong Kook Shin, Yong Yin
published in: Journal of Human Capital, 2011, 5 (3), 255-301

By allowing for imperfectly informed markets and the role of private information, we offer new insights about observed deviations of portfolio concentrations in domestic relative to foreign risky assets, or "home bias", from what standard finance models predict. Our model ascribes the "bias" to endogenous information acquisition bolstered by investors'...

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