Mark Rank: "Poverty and Inequality in America — Why Care?"

Mark R. Rank is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts and speakers in the country on issues of poverty, inequality, and social justice.

Dr. Rank’s areas of research and teaching have focused on poverty, social welfare, economic inequality, and social policy. His first book, “Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America,” explored the conditions of surviving on public assistance, and achieved widespread critical acclaim.

Professor Rank’s most recent book, “One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All,” provides a new understanding of poverty in America. His life-course research has demonstrated for the first time that a majority of Americans will experience poverty and will use a social safety net program at some point during their lives.

He is currently working on a book with his long-time collaborator, Thomas Hirschl of Cornell University, that explores various aspects of economic risk and turmoil across the adulthood years. Their research is designed to shed empirical light on the tenuous nature of the American Dream in today’s society, and how to restore its relevance and vitality.

In addition to writing books, Dr. Rank has published articles in numerous academic journals across a wide variety of fields.

Professor Rank is the recipient of many awards including the Founders Day Distinguished Faculty Award from the Washington University Alumni Board of Governors, the Faculty Award to Improve Learning from the William T. Kemper Foundation, the Outstanding Research Award from the Society for Social Work and Research, the Feldman Award from the Groves Conference on Marriage and the Family, and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Brown School’s Alumni Association.

Dr. Rank’s research has been reported in a wide range of media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and National Public Radio.  He has provided his research expertise to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as to many national and state organizations involved in issues of economic and social justice.