Renowned Economics Scholar William T. Dickens Appointed to Northeastern University Faculty

Professor fortifies interdisciplinary program

Boston, Mass.- Northeastern University has announced the appointment of William T. Dickens as Distinguished Professor of Economics and Social Policy to the College of Arts & Sciences. Dickens will join the faculty of the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, & Public Policy in the fall of 2008.

“I am honored to join the Northeastern University community and the School of Social Science, Urban Affairs, & Public Policy,” said Dickens. “It is an institution that strongly embraces academic and applied research, teaching and collaboration between disciplines and partnerships between academia and industry.”

Dickens, an internationally renowned expert in labor markets, wage determination, unemployment, monetary policy, inner-city employment problems, effects of trade on employment and wages, poverty, income support, intelligence testing and psychology and economics, will play a crucial role in the university’s interdisciplinary scholarship efforts.

“Northeastern University and the College of Arts & Sciences proudly anticipate the addition of Bill Dickens to the interdisciplinary faculty,” said James Stellar, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “At Northeastern, Bill will be able to combine his knowledge and mastery of economics and psychology. His background and expertise will surely add to the impetus generated by our existing multidisciplinary research endeavors and academic initiatives.”

During his first year at Northeastern University, Dickens will be a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation where he will pursue writing and research as part of an interdisciplinary group studying the malleability of cognitive ability. Each year, the Russell Sage Foundation conducts a competition for its fellowship program which brings a small number of scholars to its New York headquarters to investigate topics in social and behavioral sciences.

Members of Northeastern University faculty are praising the addition of a new scholar of Dickens’ prominence.

“Bill will add significant strength to the economics department and to our Ph.D. program with his proficiency in labor economics,” said Steven A. Morrison, Professor and Chair in the Department of Economics.

“Bill has developed a novel core center for research and quantitative methods and we look forward to gaining his expertise at Northeastern University,” added Barry Bluestone, Russell B. and Andree B. Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, and director of the Center for Urban and Regional Policy.

About William T. Dickens

Dickens is just ending his tenure as the Thomas Schelling Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He is also a non-resident senior fellow in the Economics Studies Program at The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, where he researches the malleability of cognitive ability; fiscal effects of investment in early education; the relationship of inflation, wage and unemployment; and economic development. Dickens was in residence at Brookings from 1994 to 2007.

Dickens is currently co-director of a major international research project on wage rigidity. The project relies on data on individual wage changes to measure the extent, nature, causes and consequences of wage rigidity and is a collaborative effort involving Brookings, the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the European Central Bank, and economist from 13 country teams. In addition, Dickens is developing tests and applications of his new model of cognitive ability published in Psychological Review.

Dickens was formerly a senior economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers; professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley (1980-1995); visiting assistant professor at the Sloan School of Management, M.I.T. (1986); and a consultant for The World Bank.

Dickens received his B.A. in social studies from Bard College in 1976 and his Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. in 1981.

For more information, please contact Samantha Fodrowski at 617-373-5427 or at

About Northeastern

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions. For more information, please visit