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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Does rising inequality harm the middle class?

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

Does Rising Inequality Harm the Middle Class?

Cornell professor links economic principles to human behavior at Eller College lecture

TUCSON, Ariz. – FEBRUARY 02, 2006 – Since 1979, the top one percent of U.S. earners has tripled its purchasing power. Although the remaining 99 percent has maintained its purchasing power during that period, increased spending at the top may be pushing the middle class beyond its means.

Robert H. Frank, professor of management and economics at The Johnson School, Cornell University, will discuss the implications of the widening gap between the wealthy and the middle class at the Eller College of Management’s 2006 Fathauer Lecture in Political Economy. Focusing on the application of economic principles to explain human behavior, he will explore whether having more income equates with being “better off” in his talk Does Rising Inequality Harm the Middle Class?, Thursday, Feb. 23, at 5:00 p.m. The free public lecture will take place in Berger Auditorium, McClelland Hall, 1303 E. Helen St., Tucson, Ariz. There is no cost to attend the lecture or the reception that will follow the lecture in the Estes Atrium of McClelland Hall.

“Bob Frank is always thought-provoking,” said Mark Walker, economics professor and department head. “In his The New York Times column, in books like his national best-seller The Winner-Take-All Society, and even when he teaches economics to classes with hundreds of college students, Bob incorporates ideas from psychology and sociology to change the way we think about economics.”

Frank is a monthly contributor to the The New York Times and has written a number of books linking economic principles and human behavior, including one of The New York Times 1995 Notable Books of the Year The Winner-Take-All Society, co-authored with Philip J. Cook. He holds a Ph.D. in economics and a master’s degree in statistics from the University of California, Berkeley. He has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Nepal, chief economist for the Civil Aeronautics Board, and has held academic positions at l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Sciences Sociales in Paris.

The Fathauer Lecture in Political Economy was established in 1982 and endowed in 1996 by Isabel and Walter Fathauer. The annual Lecture brings internationally known scholars to The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. Past lecturers have included A Beautiful Mind author Sylvia Nasar, social security expert John Shoven, and several Nobel laureates in economics. More than 200 business and community leaders, students, and faculty attend the free public event each year.

The lecture and reception following are free and open to the public. Please RSVP online at

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #48 in the U.S. The College is among the leaders of business schools generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the 25th ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 750 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and a satellite campus in Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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