Mark Rank

Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare, Brown School

Mark Rank, the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare in the Brown School

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Biography

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. He has published several books, as well as articles in numerous academic journals across a wide variety of fields.

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.

His next book, “One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All,” provided 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.

His latest book, “Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes” uses a multi-methodological approach to explore the nature of the American Dream and the economic viability of achieving the Dream. The book is designed to shed light on the tenuous nature of the American Dream in today’s society, and how to restore its relevance and vitality.

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Stories

Video: What are your odds of going into poverty?

Mark Rank, the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare at the Brown School, has developed a calculator that can determine for the first time an American’s expected risk of poverty based on their race, education level, gender, marital status and age. Here’s a video that explains how.
Mark Rank, the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare in the Brown School

When children grow up poor, the nation pays a price

In a study published in Social Work Research, we determined that childhood poverty cost the nation $1.03 trillion in 2015. This number represented 5.4 percent of the G.D.P. These costs are borne by the children themselves, but ultimately by the wider society as well.
Mark Rank, the Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare in the Brown School

The misunderstood social safety net

Few topics are more misunderstood than the U.S. social safety net. As Congress considers making significant changes and cuts to these programs during the next few months, it is time to splash a dose of hard reality onto this subject.