Harry Holzer is a nonresident senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and the LaFarge SJ Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown. He previously served as chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor and professor of economics at Michigan State University. Holzer joined the Georgetown Public Policy Institute as Professor of Public Policy in the Fall of 2000. He served as associate dean from 2004 through 2006 and was acting dean in the fall of 2006. He is also currently an institute fellow at the American Institutes for Research, a research affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty (Univ. of Wisconsin), a research fellow at IZA, and a National Affiliate of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University. He has also been a faculty director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy. He received his B.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1983) from Harvard University.
Professor Holzer served as chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor and professor of economics at Michigan State University. He has also been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in 1995 and 2021, and a faculty research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Holzer is on the board of directors for the Economic Mobility Corporation and has served as a director of the National Skills Coalition. In 2019, he contributed a paper on the U.S. labor market in 2050 to the Ford and Peter G. Peterson Foundations’ U.S. 2050 initiative.
Over most of his career, Professor Holzer’s research has focused primarily on the low-wage labor market, and particularly the problems of minority workers in urban areas. In recent years he has worked on the quality of jobs as well as workers in the labor market, and on the links between higher education (especially community colleges) and the labor market for disadvantaged students. He has also written extensively about the employment problems of disadvantaged men, advancement prospects for the working poor, and workforce policy more broadly. His research on urban poverty and social policy has been funded by grants from the Gates Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, Joyce Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Institute for Research on Poverty, the Upjohn Institute, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Mott Foundation, the MacArthur foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California.
Professor Holzer teaches courses for MPP students in statistical methods for program and policy evaluation at the McCourt School, as well as on anti-poverty policy and on labor market policy. In his past life at Michigan State, he taught courses in labor market policy and institutions, poverty, and introductory macroeconomics. His other interests and activities include listening to jazz and reading politics/history. His wife Deborah is a clinical social worker and they have three daughters, aged 29, 23 and 23.
Areas of Expertise
- Welfare reform
- Low-wage labor markets
- John LaFarge Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University
- Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor
- Professor of Economics, Michigan State University
- Ph.D. (1983) and A.B. (1978) Harvard University