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Mark Stelzner, PhD

Contributor, The Hopbrook Institute

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Mark Stelzner earned his Ph.D. of Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Afterward, becoming an Assistant Professor of Economics at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, and then joined Connecticut College in 2015 where he teaches Introduction to Microeconomics, Introduction to Macroeconomics, Intermediate Microeconomics, Economic Development, Public Economics, Game Theory, and U.S. Economic History.

For the last few years, Mark Stelzner has been working on better understanding income inequality in the United States. He has conducted research on the evolution of labor laws during the Gilded Age and over the last forty years, the relationship between labor laws and inequality, the income shares of top earners in the late 1860s, the connection between support for workers and technological change, the evolution of antitrust administration since the 1960s, the link between inequality and politics, and the degree to which Americans have overpaid for private medical care. His work has been featured in the Nation, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and other venues.



Phone: (860) 439-5066

Research Interests:

  • Income Inequality

  • Labor and Anti-trust law

  • Technological Change

  • Politics of Economic Systems


  • PhD, Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

  • MA, International Studies, University of Denver

  • BA, Boston University 



The income share of the top one percent of the population in the United States has increased from a little over nine percent of national income in the 1970s to 22.46 percent in 2012 – —a 144 percent increase. What is driving this astronomic growth in incomes for some? Is it possibly the result of non-meritorious forces? If so, how has this incredibly unequal development coexisted, and indeed worsened, in a political system based on equality? 
In Economic Inequality and Policy Control in the United States, Stelzner tackles each of these questions, and, in order to further develop understanding, Stelzner looks to the past and analyzes our experience with income inequality and the orientation of laws and institutions from the Gilded Age through the New and Fair Deal. He concludes that we have the tools to tackle inequality at present—the same policies we used during the New and Fair Deal. However, in order to make change durable, we have to eliminate the undemocratic elements of our political system.

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