John Karl Scholz
1988, PhD, Economics, Stanford University
1981, BA, Economics and Mathematics, Carleton College
President, University of Oregon, July 2023–present
- Currently leads the AAU and Carnegie R1 research university, serving 23,202 undergraduate and graduate students and offering 316 undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its nine academic schools and colleges, as well as the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact and the Ballmer Institute for Children’s Behavioral Health.
Provost, University of Wisconsin–Madison, July 2019–June 2023
- Played an instrumental role in helping the university navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts included twice-weekly calls with the deans to address challenges in the schools/colleges and support the academic enterprise.
- Launched the Center for Teaching, Learning and Mentoring, which supports instructors across campus and enhances teaching and learning at UW–Madison.
- Worked to improve climate and the experience of staff and faculty across the university, working with the deans, governance groups, and vice provosts.
- During time as provost, average time to degree dropped to under four years (for the first time) and fell three consecutive years, to 3.89 years, during this time, the university also recruited the most diverse entering class in UW–Madison’s history.
Dean, College of Letters & Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison, July 2013–June 2019
- Working with an awesome team, successfully led a college with 2,100 employees, 4,000 graduate students, and over 18,000 undergraduates, with sixty-seven academic departments and formally recognized centers/institutes.
- Raised over $425M as part of the All Ways Forward campaign.
- Launched and developed a nationally recognized career center for arts and sciences students, SuccessWorks.
- Led formation of the School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences in the College of Letters & Science.
Nellie June Gray Professor of Economic Policy, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Economics, 2010–present (Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, and La Follette Institute of Public Affairs, 1988-95; Associate Professor, 1995-98; and Professor of Economics, since 1998)
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Tax Analysis, US Department of the Treasury, January 1997–August 1998
Senior Staff Economist, Council of Economic Advisers, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC, September 1990–July 1991
2021–2023 Chair, Big Ten Academic Alliance Audit Committee
2021–2023 Chief Academic Officer Steering Committee, Association of American Universities
2012–2013 National Institute of Health Study Section, SSPA
2011–2013 Department Chair (Department of Economics, UW–Madison)
2011–2013 Coeditor, American Economic Journal – Economic Policy
2011 Vice President, Midwest Economics Association
2009–2011 Coeditor, Journal of Public Economics
2008–current TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow
2008–2013 Research Fellow, Netspar (Netherlands), Member of Netspar Scientific Counsel
2007–2009 Member, Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (Tax Gap Committee)
2007–2009 Chair, NRC Panel on the Dynamics of Economic Well-being System
2005–2008 Associate Editor, The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics
2005 International Monetary Fund Technical Assistance, South Korea
2004 Chair, National Research Council Panel on Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making
2004–2007 Social Science Divisional Committee (UW–Madison)
2003–2013 Michigan Retirement Research Center Board of Outside Scholars
2003–2013 Senior Research Affiliate at the Michigan National Poverty Center
2001–2003 Member, National Research Council Panel to Evaluate the USDA’s Methodology for Estimating Eligibility and Participation for the WIC Program
2001–2013 Editorial Board, The B.E. Journals in Economic Analysis and Policy
2000–2004 Director, Institute for Research on Poverty (affiliate since 1992)
1998–2017 Editorial Board, National Tax Journal
1998–2001 Social Science Fellowship Committee, Graduate School, UW-Madison
1994–2009 Coeditor, Journal of Human Resources
1991–today Faculty Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
Making the Work-Based Safety Net Work Better, edited with Carolyn Heinrich, Russell Sage Foundation, 2009.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“EITC Use in Shared Placement Cases,” with Patricia Brown and Hsueh-Hsiang Li, Public Finance Review, 46(3), May 2018, 327–358.
“Facial Attractiveness and Lifetime Earnings: Evidence from a Cohort Study,” with Kamil Sicinski, Review of Economics and Statistics, 97, March 2015, 14–28.
“An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Anti-Poverty Programs in the United States,” with Yonatan Ben-Shalom and Robert Moffitt, in Oxford Handbook of Economics of Poverty, P. Jefferson, ed., Oxford University Press, 2012, 709–749.
“A New Test of Borrowing Constraints for Education,” with Meta Brown and Ananth Seshadri, Review of Economic Studies, 79, April 2012, 511–538.
“Trends in the Level and Distribution of Income Support,” with Robert Moffitt, Tax Policy and the Economy, J. Brown, ed., MIT Press and NBER, 24, 2010, 111–152.
“The Effects of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Employers,” 2009, with Patrick Bayer and B. Douglas Bernheim, Economic Inquiry, October, 605– 624. Winner of the 2009 outstanding paper award in Economic Inquiry.
“Introduction,” with Carolyn Heinrich, in Making Work-Based Welfare Work Better, J.K. Scholz and C. Heinrich, eds., Russell Sage Foundation, New York: New York, 2009, 1–22.
“Trends in Income Support,” with Robert Moffitt and Benjamin Cowan, Changing Poverty, Changing Policies, M. Cancian and S. Danziger, eds., Russell Sage Foundation, New York: New York, 2009, 203–241.
“The Assets and Liabilities Held By Low-Income Households,” with Ananth Seshadri, Insufficient Funds, R. Blank and M. Barr, eds., Russell Sage Foundation, New York: New York, 2009, 25–65.
“Can Administrative Data on Child Support Be Used to Improve the EITC? Evidence from Wisconsin,” with Joe Hotz, National Tax Journal, 61, June 2008, 189–203.
“Taxation and Poverty,” New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, L. Blume and S. Durlauf, eds., 2008.
“Are Americans Saving ‘Optimally’ for Retirement?” with Ananth Seshadri and Surachai Khitatrakun, Journal of Political Economy, 114(4), August 2006, 607–643. Winner of the 2007 TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for outstanding scholarly writing on lifelong financial security.
“Welfare Reform in the United States,” with Robert Haveman, A New Paradigm for Social Welfare in the New Millennium, L. Cho, H. Moon, Y. Kim, and S. Lee, eds., Korean Development Institute Press, 2005, 25–53.
“Do Estate and Gift Taxes Affect the Timing of Private Transfers?” with B. Douglas Bernheim and Robert Lemke, Journal of Public Economics, 88(12), December 2004, 2617–2634.
“U.S. Black-White Wealth Inequality,” with Kara Levine, Social Inequality, K. Neckerman, ed., Russell Sage Foundation, New York: New York, 2004, 895–929.
“WIC Eligibility and Participation,” with Janet Currie and Marianne Bitler, Journal of Human Resources, Special Issue on Income Volatility and Implications for Food Assistance Programs, vol. 38, 2003, 1139–1179.
“Saving Incentives in the U.S.,” with Surachai Khitatrakun, Pension Policy in an Integrating Europe, O. Castellino and E. Fornero, eds., Edward Elgar, 2003, 127–151.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit,” with V. Joseph Hotz, Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Robert Moffitt, ed., the University of Chicago Press and National Bureau of Economic Research, 2003, 141–197.
“Welfare, Employment and Income: Evidence on the Effects of Benefit Reductions in California,” with V. Joseph Hotz and Charles H. Mullin, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, May 2002, 380–384.
“The Evolution of Income Support Policy in Recent Decades,” with Kara Levine, in Understanding Poverty, S. Danziger and R. Haveman, eds., Harvard University Press and Russell Sage Foundation, 2002, 193–228.
“Measuring Employment and Income Outcomes for Low-income Populations with Administrative and Survey Data,” with V. Joseph Hotz, in Studies of Welfare Populations: Data Collection and Research Issues, National Research Council: National Academy Press, 2002, 275–315.
“Evaluating Work-Related Cash Benefit Programs: The Earned Income Tax Credit,” with Carolyn J. Hill and V. Joseph Hotz, “Evaluating Tax Expenditures: Tools and Techniques for Assessing Outcomes,” New Directions for Evaluation, L. Datta and P. Grasso (eds.), no. 79, fall 1998, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 25–41.
“An Econometric Analysis of Charitable Giving with Interdependent Preferences,” with James Andreoni, Economic Inquiry, July 1998, 410–428.
“Personal Bankruptcy and Credit Supply and Demand,” with Reint Gropp and Michelle White, Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 1997, 217–251.
“The Illusory Effects of Saving Incentives on Saving,” with Eric M. Engen and William G. Gale, Journal of Economic Perspectives, fall 1996, 113–138.
“Distributional Effects of Fundamental Tax Reform” with William G. Gale and Scott Houser, Economic Effects of Fundamental Tax Reform, Aaron and Gale, eds., The Brookings Institution, 1996, 281–315.
“In-Work Benefits in the United States: The Earned Income Tax Credit,” Economic Journal, vol.106, January 1996, 156–169.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit and Transfer Programs: A Study of Labor Market and Program Participation,” with Stacy Dickert and Scott Houser, Tax Policy and the Economy, James M. Poterba, ed., National Bureau of Economic Research and the MIT Press, 9, 1995, 1–50.
“IRAs and Household Saving,” with William G. Gale, American Economic Review, December 1994, 1233–1260.
“Improving the Delivery of Benefits to the Working Poor: Proposals to Reform the Earned Income Tax Credit Program,” with George K. Yin, Jonathan Barry Forman, and Mark Mazur, American Journal of Tax Policy, fall 1994, 225–298.
“Intergenerational Transfers and the Accumulation of Wealth,” with William G. Gale, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 8, no. 4, fall 1994, 145–160.
“Tax Progressivity and Household Portfolios: Descriptive Evidence from the Surveys of Consumer Finances,” Tax Progressivity and Income Inequality, Joel Slemrod, ed., Cambridge University Press, 1994, 219–267.
“Taxes and the Poor: A Microsimulation Study of Implicit and Explicit Taxes,” with Stacy Dickert and Scott Houser, National Tax Journal, September 1994, 621–638.
“Do Saving Incentives Work?” with Eric M. Engen and William G. Gale, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1, 1994, 85–151.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit: Participation, Compliance, and Anti-poverty Effectiveness,” National Tax Journal, March 1994, 59–81.
“Private Saving and Public Policy,” with B. Douglas Bernheim, Tax Policy and the Economy, James M. Poterba, ed., National Bureau of Economic Research and the MIT Press, 7, 1993, 73–110.
“A Direct Examination of the Dividend Clientele Hypothesis,” Journal of Public Economics, 49, 1992, 261–285.
“Examining the Evidence on IRAs and Household Saving,” with William G. Gale, Personal Saving, Consumption, and Tax Policy, M. Kosters, ed., The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1992, 76–83.
“Consumption Taxation in a General Equilibrium Model: How Reliable are Simulation Results?” with B. Douglas Bernheim and John B. Shoven, National Savings and Economic Performance, Bernheim and Shoven, eds., Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, 1991, 131–158.
“The Value-Added Tax: A General Equilibrium Look at Its Efficiency and Incidence,” with Charles L. Ballard and John B. Shoven, The Effects of Taxation on Capital Accumulation, M. Feldstein, ed., Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, 1987, 445–480.
Policy Papers, Reviews, and Comments
“Transfers and Taxes and the Low-Income Population: Policy and Research Trends,” with Richard Burkhauser and Robert Moffitt, Focus, Institute for Research on Poverty, winter 2010, 27(2), 13–20. http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/focus/pdfs/foc272d.pdf
“Reengineering the Survey of Income and Program Participation,” with Connie Citro, National Research Council, 2009, Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Washington, DC: the National Academies Press.
“Trends in Income Support,” with Robert Moffitt and Benjamin Cowan, Focus, Institute for Research on Poverty, fall 2009, 26(2), 43–49. http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/focus/pdfs/foc262.pdf
“Public Assistance and Workfare,” with Colleen Chrisinger, Ben Cowan, and Caleb White, Social Policy at a Crossroad: Trends in Advanced Countries and Implications for Korea,
S. Lee, A. Mason, and K. Sul, eds., Korean Development Institute, 2008, 291–317. “Employer-Based Tax Credits,” Brookings Institution Hamilton Project, December 2007.
“Taxation and Poverty: 1960–2006,” Focus, Institute for Research on Poverty, spring-summer 2007, 25(1), 52–57. http://www.irp.wisc.edu/publications/focus/pdfs/foc251h.pdf
“Migration To and From Wisconsin” with Yeri Lopez, The LaFollette School, December 2006.
“Perspectives on Economic Development from Site Selection Magazine” with Yeri Lopez,
The LaFollette School, December 2006.
“Choosing the Right Pond: What are Appropriate Comparison Cities for Wisconsin’s Metropolitan Areas?” with Yeri Lopez, The LaFollette School, December 2006.
Comment on “Neighborhood Effects on Barriers to Employment: Results from a Randomized Housing Mobility Experiment in Baltimore,” by Kristin Turney, Susan Clampet-Lundquist, Kathryn Edin, Jeffrey R. Kling, and Greg J. Duncan, in Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 2006, 42–48.
Comment on “Labor Market Changes in Korea since the 1997 Crisis,” by Dae Il Kim and Gyeongjoon Yoo, A New Paradigm for Social Welfare in the New Millennium, L. Cho, H. Moon, Y. Kim, and S. Lee, eds., Korean Development Institute Press, 2005, 181–183.
“Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making: Report of a Workshop,” with Jamie Casey, National Research Council, 2004, Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Washington, DC: the National Academies Press.
Comment on “What People Don’t Know About Their Pensions and Social Security,” by Alan Gustman and Thomas Steinmeier, Private Pensions and Public Policies, W. Gale, J. Shoven, and M. Warshawsky, eds., Washington DC: the Brookings Institution Press, 2004, 120–125.
Comment on “The Impact of Gifts and Bequests on the Distribution of Wealth,” by Edward N. Wolff, Death and Dollars: The Role of Gifts and Bequests in America, A. Munnell and
A. Sundèn, eds., Washington DC: the Brookings Institution Press, 2003, 381–388.
“Welfare Reform, Employment, and Advancement,” with V. Joseph Hotz and Charles H. Mullin, Focus, Institute for Research on Poverty, special issue 2002, 51–55.
Member of the Century Foundation Working Group on Tax Expenditures, which wrote Bad Breaks All Around, the Century Foundation Press, 2002.
Reviews of “Should the United States Privatize Social Security?” by Henry J. Aaron and John B. Shoven and “Issues in Privatizing Social Security: Report of an Expert Panel of the National Academy of Social Insurance,” Peter A. Diamond, ed., Journal of Economic Literature, December 2001, 1249–1251.
“Not Perfect, But Still Pretty Good: The EITC and Other Policies to Support the U.S. Low-Wage Labor Market,” with V. Joseph Hotz, OECD Economic Studies, 2000 (31), 26–42.
Review of “Who Bears the Lifetime Tax Burden,” by Don Fullerton and Diane Lim Rogers, Journal of Economic Literature, March 1995, 234–236.
“Taxes, Transfers, and Welfare Reform,” with Robert H. Haveman, National Tax Journal, June 1994, 419–436.
“Tax Policy and the Working Poor: The Earned Income Tax Credit,” Focus, Institute for Research on Poverty, winter 1993–94, 1–12.
“Do Americans Save Too Little?” with B. Douglas Bernheim, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank Business Review, September–October 1993, 3–20.
“Changes in the Economic Status of Families with Young Children: A Look at Two Cohorts,” with Nancy Maritato, proceedings of the National Tax Association, 1991, 186–197.
Comment on “Adverse Implications of a Securities Transactions Tax,” by Joseph Grundfest and John Shoven, Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, vol. 6, no. 4, fall 1991.
Comment on “An Analysis of the Alternative Minimum Tax: Equity, Efficiency, and Incentive Effects,” by Andrew Lyon, the Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax, American Council for Capital Formation, 1991.
“The Effect of the Relative Tax Treatment of Dividends and Capital Gains on Aspects of Corporate and Investor Behavior,” proceedings of the National Tax Association, 1988, 114–120.
“Comprehensive Income Taxation and Rate Reduction,” with Joseph A. Pechman, statement to the Senate Finance Committee, reprinted in Tax Notes, October 11, 1982.
Grants and Awards
Michigan Retirement Research Center, “The Assets and Liabilities of Cohorts: The Antecedents of Retirement Security,” with Michael Collins and Ananth Seshadri, September 2012–August 2013.
Michigan Retirement Research Center, “The Interplay of Wealth, Retirement Decisions, Policy and Economic Shocks,” with Ananth Seshadri, September 2012–August 2013.
Michigan Retirement Research Center, “The Influence of Public Policy on Health, Wealth and Mortality,” with Ananth Seshadri, September 2011–August 2012.
Richard E. Stockwell Chair in Economics, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2009–2012. Michigan Retirement Research Center, “New Explorations of Health and Wealth,” with Ananth
Seshadri, September 2009–August 2010.
Kellett Mid-career Award, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2009.
Michigan Retirement Research Center, “What Replacement Rates Should People Use?” with Ananth Seshadri, September 2008–August 2009.
National Institute for Aging (R01), “Retirement Income Security of Elderly Americans: Studies of Fundamental Factors Influencing Wealth Accumulation and Retirement,” with Ananth Seshadri, May 2009–April 2014.
Recipient of the 2007 TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson award for “Are Americans Saving ‘Optimally’ for Retirement?” with Ananth Seshadri and Surachai Khitatrakun.
Michigan Retirement Research Center, “Are All Americans Saving Optimally for Retirement?” with Ananth Seshadri, October 2007–August 2008.
Michigan Retirement Research Center, “Children and Household Wealth,” with Ananth Seshadri, September 2006–August 2007.
Carleton College Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, June 2006.
National Science Foundation, “Tax Policy and Low-Wage Labor Markets: New Work on Employment, Effectiveness and Administration,” with V. Joseph Hotz, July 2004–June 2009.
National Institute for Aging (R01), “Theory and Evidence on Intergenerational Transfers,” with Meta Brown, Maurizio Mazzocco, and Ananth Seshadri, September 2003–August 2007.
National Institute of Aging (R03), “Pension and the Non-Pension Wealth of American Families,” June 2001.
Russell Sage Foundation, “The Wisconsin Family Capital Project: How Health, Education, Wealth, and Family Resources Are Shaping Economic Inequality” co-PI with Barbara Wolfe, August 2000–July 2004.
University of Wisconsin – Madison, Vilas Associates award, 1998 academic year.
US Department of the Treasury, Distinguished Service Award, August, 1998.
Census Bureau Grant, co-principal investigator with Michael Wiseman, “Monitoring Devolution: The Welfare Reform Information and Support Project,” September 1996–September 1997.
Congressional Research Service Grant (Library of Congress), “Microsimulation Computer Model of the Federal Transfer System: Maintenance and Development,” October 1996–September 1997.
Congressional Research Service Grant, “Development Work on SAFETTEM: A State and Federal, Tax and Transfer Model,” October 1995–September 1996.
Census Bureau Grant, “Microsimulation Modelling of the Tax and Transfer System,” September 1995–August 1996.
National Science Foundation Grant SBR95-11321, co-principal investigator with B. Douglas Bernheim, “Economic Literacy, Education, and Financial Behavior,” July 1995–June 1997.
Food and Nutrition Service Grant, “The Earned Income Tax Credit and Food Stamps: Joint Participation, Antipoverty Effectiveness and Labor Market Incentives, and EITC-Food Stamp Asset Test Interactions,” September 1993–March 1995.
Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Policy Evaluation Grant. “Financial Characteristics and Vulnerability of Low-Income Households.” June 1993– May 1995.
Census Bureau Grant, “Development Work on SAFETTEM: A State and Federal, Tax and Transfer Model,” January 1993–August 1993.
National Science Foundation Grant SES-9211553, co-principal investigator with William Gale, “Empirical Studies of Altruism and Saving,” July 1992–June 1995.
Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Policy Evaluation Grant, “The Working Poor: Characteristics, Labor Supply, Income Dynamics, and Vulnerability.” June 1991–May 1994.
First runner-up in the 1988 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Competition sponsored by the National Tax Association and Tax Institute of America.
Referee: American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Econometrica, Journal of Public Economics, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Labor Economics, National Tax Journal, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, International Tax and Public Finance, Review of Income and Wealth, Research in Labor Economics, Journal of Macroeconomics, Southern Economic Journal, Institute for Research on Poverty, National Science Foundation, National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, National Institute of Health, MIT Press, National Institute on Aging site visit.
Professional Conference and University Presentations (6 years prior to becoming dean)
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (multiple times); Stanford University; University of British Columbia; Michigan Retirement Research Center (multiple times); Rand Summer Institute; Social Security Administration; East-West Center, University of Hawaii; National Institute on Aging; EIEF, Rome, Italy; University of Copenhagen; Institute for Fiscal Studies–University College London–LSE joint seminar; Economic and Social Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan; University of Michigan; UCLA; Social Security Administration’s Retirement Research Conference, Washington DC; University of Hong Kong; Xiamen University, Xiamen, China; Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; Beijing University, Beijing, China; University of Maryland; Johns Hopkins University; University of Virginia; TIAA-CREF Institute; London School of Economics; University College, London; Bristol University, UK; Investment Company Institute; The Hamilton Project, The Brookings Institution; The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Brown University; Duke University; The Brookings Institution; Assets, Access, and Poverty Conference sponsored by the National Poverty Center; University of Michigan; Retirement Research Consortium, Washington, DC; keynote speaker, Netspar Workshop, Gronigen, Netherlands; invited lectures, Brain Korea 21st Century, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul Korea; University of Texas; University of Pennsylvania economics; Columbia University, economics; University of Chicago Harris School; University of Kentucky.