This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Ehrlich named Distinguished Professor

Trustees promote economics chair to highest faculty rank in SUNY system

Published: March 23, 2006

Reporter Editor

Isaac Ehrlich, UB Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Economics, College of Arts and Sciences, and Melvin H. Baker Professor of American Enterprise in the School of Management, has been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor for having achieved national or international prominence and an established reputation in his field of expertise.


Isaac Ehrlich, UB Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Economics, and Melvin H. Baker Professor of American Enterprise, has been named a SUNY Distinguished Professor.

Ehrlich's appointment was made by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its meeting on March 13.

The rank of distinguished professor, the highest faculty rank in the SUNY system, is an order above full professorship and has three co-equal designations: distinguished professor, distinguished service professor and distinguished teaching professor.

A UB faculty member since 1978, Ehrlich has helped pioneer several new programs in the field of economics, including the economics of crime, the economics of advertising, the relation of human uncertainty to insurance and the economics of human capital, particularly as it pertains to aging, health and economic growth.

He recently received a $750,000 faculty development grant from the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research to establish a Center of Excellence on Human Capital, Technology Transfer and Economic Growth and Development.

The interdisciplinary center will bring together experts in diverse fields ranging from economics and econometrics to human and venture capital to study how economies make the transition to high-tech and biotech economies. The center also will focus on how the knowledge generated by basic science, patents and algorithms is transformed into commercial process and product innovations.

At the same time, the center will conduct applied research on such issues as the costs and benefits of such innovations, pricing and the role of venture capital in emerging industries, which will benefit New York State corporations. A number of firms already have expressed interest in partnering with the center.

Ehrlich is the author of more than 50 articles in major journals and collections. He was included in the first edition of "Who's Who in Economics: A Biographical Dictionary of Major Economists 1700-1980." His widely cited work has been supported by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies, including a major USAID grant to study economic development and the role of free enterprise. His new book, "The Economics of Crime," co-edited by UB assistant professor of economics Zhiqiang Liu, is scheduled to be published by Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd. in May.

In addition to his positions at UB, Ehrlich is a research associate, which is a senior title, at the National Bureau of Economic Research; a research associate at the Institute for Policy Analysis at the University of Toronto; and an honorary professor at the City University of Hong Kong. He also served as an advisor to the Hong Kong government on health research and policy issues.

In 2002, Ehrlich was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Orleans, France, in the field of economics.

He earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a doctorate, with distinction, from Columbia University.