Miles Corak is a full professor of economics with the Department of Economics and the Stone Center on Socio-economic inequality at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He has published numerous articles on topics dealing with child poverty, access to university education, intergenerational earnings and social mobility, and unemployment.

He has also been a visiting researcher with the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence Italy in 2003/04, the Centre for Longitudinal Studies in London UK in 2008, with the Office of Population Research at Princeton University in 2011, the Russell Sage Foundation in 2013/14, and with Harvard University in 2015/16. During the 2017 calendar year he was the Economist in Residence at Employment and Social Development Canada, supporting the Deputy Minister's office in developing a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy and medium term reforms to Employment Insurance.

Miles Corak joined IZA as a Research Fellow in April 2001.

His twitter handle is @MilesCorak and he blogs at



IZA Discussion Paper No. 11005
published in: Canadian Public Policy, 2016, 42 (4), 367-414

Income inequality is on the rise, and everyone, from President Obama and Pope Francis to Prince Charles and Standard & Poor's, is talking about it. But these conversations about what are arguably the most significant changes in the distribution of incomes and earnings since the 1940s are leading to very...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9929
published in: Robert Rycroft (editor). The Economics of Inequality, Poverty, and Discrimination in the 21st Century. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2013

To understand the degree of intergenerational mobility in the United States, and the differences between Americans and others, it is important to appreciate the workings and interaction of three fundamental institutions: the family, the market, and the state. But comparisons can also be misleading. The way in which families, labor...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7520
published in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2013, 27 (3), 79-102

Families, labor markets, and public policies all structure a child’s opportunities and determine the extent to which adult earnings are related to family background. Cross-country comparisons and the underlying trends suggest that these drivers will most likely lower the degree of intergenerational earnings mobility for the next generation of Americans...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6120
published in: John Ermisch, Markus Jantti, and Timothy Smeeding (editors). From Parents to Children: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage. Russell Sage Foundation, 2012.

This study of the emergence of inequality during the early years is based upon a comparative analysis of children at the age of about five years in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. We study a series of child outcomes related to readiness to learn, focusing on...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 6072
abridged version published in: Ann Masten, Karmela Liebkind and Donald J. Hernandez (editors). Realizing the Potential of Immigrant Youth, Cambridge University Press, 2012, Ch. 4

The successful acquisition of a language is often characterized in terms of critical periods. If this is the case it is likely that children who migrate face different challenges in attaining high school credentials depending upon their age at immigration. This paper examines the education outcomes of a cohort of...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 5593
published in: John Ermisch, Markus Jantti, and Timothy Smeeding (editors). From Parents to Children: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage. Russell Sage Foundation, 2012.

The intergenerational transmission of employers between fathers and sons is a common feature of labour markets in Canada and Denmark, with 30 to 40% of young adults having at some point been employed with a firm that also employed their fathers. This is strongly associated with the first jobs obtained...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4876
revised version published as: 'The Inheritance of Employers and Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility.' in: Kaushik Basu and Joseph Stiglitz (editors). Inequality and Growth: Patterns and Policy. London: Palgrave Macmillan. 2016, 1 - 34

Our analysis of intergenerational earnings mobility modifies the Becker-Tomes model to incorporate the intergenerational transmission of employers, which is predicted to increase the intergenerational elasticity of earnings. About 6% of young Canadian men have the same main employer as their fathers but this is positively related to paternal earnings and...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4824
Miles Corak, Darren Lauzon
abridged version published in: Economics of Education Review, 2009, 28 (2), 189-198

This paper adopts the technique of DiNardo, Fortin and Lemieux (1996) to decompose differences in the distribution of PISA test scores in Canada, and assesses the relative contribution of differences in the distribution of “class size” and time-in-term, other school factors and student background factors. Class size and time-in-term are...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4819
slightly revised version published in: Journal of Labor Economics, 2011, 29 (1), 37-68

We find that about 40% of a cohort of young Canadian men has been employed with an employer for whom their father also worked; and six to nine percent have the same employer in adulthood. The intergenerational transmission of employers is positively related to paternal earnings, particularly at the very...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 4814
published in: Timothy M. Smeeding et al. (eds.), Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting: The Comparative Study of Intergenerational Mobility, NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2011. Parts also published (Miles Corak only) as 'Chasing the Same Dream, Climbing Different Ladders'. Washington: PEW Charitable Trusts, 2010

This comparative study of the relationship between family economic background and adult outcomes in the United States and Canada addresses three questions. First, is there something to explain? We suggest that the existing literature finds that there are significant differences in the degree of intergenerational economic mobility between these two...