Robert Frank

Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management & Professor of Economics

Robert H. Frank is the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and Professor of Economics at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and the co-director of the Paduano Seminar in business ethics at NYU’s Stern School of Business. His “Economic View” column appears monthly in The New York Times. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos. He received his B.S. in mathematics from Georgia Tech, then taught math and science for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Nepal. He holds an M.A. in statistics and a Ph.D. in economics, both from the University of California at Berkeley. His papers have appeared in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, and other leading professional journals.


  • Applied economics

Current Research Interests

Causes and consequences of earnings inequality

Selected Publications & Presentations

  • (With B. Bernanke) Principles of Economics. McGraw-Hill, 2001.
  • Luxury Fever: Why Money Fails to Satisfy in an Era of Excess. The Free Press, 1999.
  • (With P. Cook) The Winner-Take-All Society. The Free Press, 1995.
  • Microeconomics and Behavior. McGraw-Hill, 1991.
  • Passions Within Reason: The Strategic Role of the Emotions. W.W. Norton, 1988.
  • “If Homo Economicus Could Choose His Own Utility Function, Would He Want One With a Conscience?” American Economic Review, 1987.
  • Choosing the Right Pond: Human Behavior and the Quest for Status. Oxford University Press, 1985.
  • “The Demand for Unobservable and Other Nonpositional Goods.” American Economic Review, 1985.
  • “Are Workers Paid Their Marginal Products?” American Economic Review, 1984.
  • “Why Women Earn Less.” American Economic Review, 1978.
citation engraving
“Economic sociology is a science concerning itself with the interpretive understanding of social economic action and thereby with a causal explanation of its course and consequences.”— Max Weber