David A. Lam
Director, Institute for Social Research (2015- )
Research Professor, Population Studies Center, ISR
Professor of Economics
Big Idea: I study the economics and demography of poverty and inequality in developing countries, with a focus on Brazil and South Africa.
David Lam earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, M.A. degrees in Demography and Latin American Studies from UC Berkeley and University of Texas, respectively, and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Ft. Lewis College. Dr. Lam is Director of the Institute for Social Research (ISR), Research Professor in the Population Studies Center, and Professor of Economics. He is also an Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Lam's research focuses on the interaction of economics and demography in developing countries, including analysis of the economics of population growth, fertility, marriage, and aging. He has worked extensively in Brazil and South Africa, where his research analyzes links between education, labor markets, and income inequality. His collaborations with the University of Cape Town include the Cape Area Panel Study, a longitudinal survey of young people in Cape Town supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Professor Lam has published widely in leading economics and demography journals.
He previously served as chair of the U-M Department of Economics, director of ISR's Population Studies Center, and director of the Michigan Center on the Demography of Aging. He has also served as president of the Population Association of America (PAA), a member of the Committee on Population in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and an advisor or consultant to the World Bank, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the United Nations Population Division, the United Nations Development Program, and the South Africa Office of the Presidency. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a Fellow of the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), and a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
Under Dr. Lam's leadership, ISR has expanded its research portfolio, including data science projects and projects integrating social science and bioscience. Thanks to Lam's visionary work, ISR has maintained its position as a highly competitive awardee for long standing projects, anchoring the Institute's intellectual and methodological culture.
- Binder, Ariel J., and David A. Lam. 2018. "Is there a male breadwinner norm? The hazards of inferring preferences from marriage market outcomes." NBER Working Paper. w24907.
- Schiel, Reinhard, Murray Leibbrandt, and David A. Lam. 2016. "Assessing the Impact of Social Grants on Inequality: A South African Case Study." Pp. 112-135 in Contemporary Issues in Development Economics, Palgrave Macmillan, London.
- Lam, David A., Guilherme Sedlacek, and Suzanne Duryea. 2016. "Increase in women's education and fertility decline in Brazil." Anais do VIII Encontro Nacional de Estudos Populacionais 1: 89-118.
- Lam, David A. 2014. "Youth bulges and youth unemployment." IZA World of Labor 26.
- Branson, Nicola, Clare Hofmeyr, and David A. Lam. 2014. "Progress through school and the determinants of school dropout in South Africa." Development Southern Africa 31(1): 106-126.
- Lam, David A. 2013. "Population Growth Alternative Perspective." Pp. 588-596 in Global Problems, Smart Solutions: Costs and Benefits, edited by Bjørn Lomborg. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Lam, David A. 2013. "Reply to Stan Becker, "Has the World Really Survived the Population Bomb? (Commentary on "How the World Survived the Population Bomb: Lessons from 50 Years of Extraordinary Demographic History")"." Demography 50(6): 2183-2186.
- Lam, David A., Leticia Junqueira Marteleto, and Vimal Ranchhod. 2013. "The Influence of Older Classmates on Adolescent Sexual Behavior in Cape Town, South Africa." Studies in Family Planning 44(2): 147-167.
- Meier, A., R. McCaa, and David A. Lam. 2011. "Creating statistically literate global citizens: The use of IPUMS-International integrated census microdata in teaching." Statistical Journal of the IAOS 27(3): 145-156.
- Lam, David A. 2011. "How the World Survived the Population Bomb: Lessons From 50 Years of Extraordinary Demographic History." Demography 48(4): 1231-1262.
- Lam, David A., Cally Ardington, and Murray Leibbrandt. 2011. "Schooling as a lottery: Racial differences in school advancement in urban South Africa." Journal of Development Economics 95(2): 121-136.
- Ardington, Cally, Anne Case, Mahnaz Islam, David A. Lam, Murray Leibbrandt, Alicia Menendez, and Analia Olgiati. 2010. "The Impact of AIDS on Intergenerational Support in South Africa: Evidence From the Cape Area Panel Study." Research on Aging 32(1): 97-121.
- Williams, Nathalie, John E. Knodel, and David A. Lam. 2010. "HIV/AIDS and Older Persons: Shifting the Focus From the Infected to the Affected." Research on Aging 32(1): 3-18.
- Lam, David A., Murray Leibbrandt, and C. Mlatsheni. 2009. "Education and youth unemployment in South Africa." Pp. 90-109 in Labor Markets and Economic Development, edited by Kanbur, R. and Svejnar, J. Routledge.
- Hoek, Jasper, Suzanne Duryea, David A. Lam, and Deborah Levison. 2009. "Dynamics of Child Labor: Labor-Force Entry and Exit in Urban Brazil." in Child labor and education in Latin America: an economic perspective, edited by Peter F. Orazem, Guilherme Sedlacek, and Zafiris Tzannatos. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Marteleto, Leticia Junqueira, David A. Lam, and Vimal Ranchhod. 2008. "Sexual Behavior, Pregnancy, and Schooling Among Young People in Urban South Africa." Studies in Family Planning 39(4): 351-368.
- Lam, David A., and Leticia Junqueira Marteleto. 2008. "Stages of the Demographic Transition from a Child's Perspective: Family Size, Cohort Size, and Children's Resources." Population and Development Review 34(2): 225-252.
- Dinkelman, Taryn, David A. Lam, and Murray Leibbrandt. 2008. "Linking Poverty and Income Shocks to Risky Sexual Behavior: Evidence from a Panel Study of Young Adults in Cape Town." South African Journal of Economics 76(S1): 53-74.
- Levison, Deborah, Jasper Hoek, David A. Lam, and Suzanne Duryea. 2007. "Intermittent child employment and its implications for estimates of child labour." International Labour Review 146(3-4): 217-251.
- Duryea, Suzanne, David A. Lam, and Deborah Levison. 2007. "Effects of Economic Shocks on Children's Employment and Schooling in Brazil." Journal of Development Economics 84(1): 188-214.
- Lam, David A., and Leticia Junqueira Marteleto. 2006. "A Escolaridade das Crianças Brasileiras durante a Transicão Demográfica: Aumento no Tamanho da Coorte versus Diminuicão no Tamanho da Família." Pesquisa e Planejamento Econômico 36(2): 319-341.
- Lam, David A., Murray Leibbrandt, and Vimal Ranchhod. 2006. "Labor Force Withdrawal of the Elderly in South Africa." in Advancing the Research Agenda on Aging in Africa, edited by Jane Menken and Barney Cohen. Washington DC : National Academies Press.
- Ardington, Cally, David A. Lam, Murray Leibbrandt, and Matthew Welch. 2006. "The sensitivity to key data imputations of recent estimates of income poverty and inequality in South Africa." Economic Modelling 23(5): 822-835.
- Lam, David A., and Leticia Junqueira Marteleto. 2005. "Small families and large cohorts : the impact of the demographic transition on schooling in Brazil." in The changing transitions to adulthood in developing countries: selected studies, edited by Cynthia Lloyd. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.
- Duryea, Suzanne, David A. Lam, Jasper Hoek, and Deborah Levison. 2005. "Dynamics of Child Labor: Labor Force Entry and Exit in Urban Brazil." Pp. 69-86 in Eradicating Child Labor in Latin America in the 90s: The Promise of Demand Side Interventions, edited by G. Sedlacek and P. Orazem. Washington, DC: World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.
- Ardington, C., David A. Lam, Murray Leibbrandt, and James A. Levinsohn. 2004. "Savings, insurance and debt over the post-apartheid period: A review of recent research." South African Journal of Economics 72(3): 604-640.
- Lam, David A. 2003. "Evolutionary Biology and Rational Choice in Models of Fertility." in Offspring: Human Fertility Behavior in Biodemographic Perspective, edited by K.W. Wachter and R. Bulatao. Washington DC : National Academies Press.
- Lam, David A. 2002. "Gary S. Becker." in The Encyclopedia of Population., edited by P. Demeny and G. McNicoll. New York: Macmillan.
- Anderson, Kermyt G., A. Case, and David A. Lam. 2001. "Causes and consequences of schooling outcomes in South Africa: Evidence from survey data." Social Dynamics 27(1): 37-59.
- Lam, David A. 2001. "Income Distribution: Demographic Aspects." in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by Paul Baltes and Neil Smelser. New York : Elsevier.
- Anderson, Kermyt G., Hillard Kaplan, David A. Lam, and Jane B. Lancaster. 1999. "Paternal Care by Genetic Fathers and Stepfathers II: Reports by Xhosa High School Students." Evolution and Human Behavior 20(6): 433-451.
- Lam, David A., and Suzanne Duryea. 1999. "Effects of Schooling on Fertility, Labor Supply, and Investments in Children, with Evidence from Brazil." Journal of Human Resources 34(1): 160-192.
- Anh, Truong Si, John E. Knodel, David A. Lam, and Jed Friedman. 1998. "Family Size and Children's Education in Vietnam." Demography 35(1): 57-70.
- Lam, David A. 1997. "Demographic Variables and Income Inequality." in Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edited by Mark K. Rosenzweig and Oded Stark. New York: Elsevier Science.
- Lam, David A., and Jeffrey A. Miron. 1996. "The Effect of Temperature on Human Fertility." Demography 33(3): 291-305.
- Lam, David A., and Robert F. Schoeni. 1994. "Family Ties and Labor Markets in the United States and Brazil." Journal of Human Resources 29 (4): 1235-58.
- Bergstrom, Theodore, and David A. Lam. 1994. "The Effects of Cohort Size on Marriage-Markets in Twentieth-Century Sweden." in The Family, the Market, and the State in Ageing Societies, edited by J. Ermisch and N. Ogawa. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.
- Lam, David A., and Jeffrey A. Miron. 1994. "Global Patterns of Seasonal Variation in Human Fertility." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 709: 9-28.
- Lam, David A., Jeffrey A. Miron, and Ann Riley. 1994. "Modeling Seasonality in Fecundability, Conceptions, and Births." Demography 31(2): 321-46.
- Lam, David A., and Robert F. Schoeni. 1993. "Effects of family background on earnings and returns to schooling: evidence from Brazil." Journal of Political Economy 101: p710(30). University of Chicago Press.
- Lam, David A. 1993. "Comment on Preston and Campbell's "Differential Fertility and the Distribution of Traits"." American Journal of Sociology 98(5): 1033-1039.
- Lam, David A., and Deborah Levison. 1992. "Age, Experience, and Schooling: Decomposing Earnings Inequality in the United States and Brazil." Sociological Inquiry 62(2): 218-45.
- Lam, David A., and Deborah Levison. 1991. "Declining Inequality in Schooling in Brazil and Its Effects on Inequality in Earnings." Journal of Development Economics 37(1-2): 199-225.
- Lam, David A., and Jeffrey A. Miron. 1991. "Seasonality of Births in Human Populations." Social Biology 38(1-2): 51-78.
- Lam, David A., and Jeffrey A. Miron. 1991. "Temperature and the Seasonality of Births." in Temperature and Environmental Effects on the Testis, edited by A.W. Zorgnoitti. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
- Lam, David A., and Deborah Levison. 1990. "Idade, Experiencia, Escolaridade e Diferenciais de Renda: Estados Unidos e Brasil." Pesquisa e Planejamento Econômico 20: 219-56.
- Lam, David A. 1989. "Population Growth, Age Structure, and Age-Specific Productivity." Journal of Population Economics 2(3): 189-210.
- Bergstrom, Theodore, and David A. Lam. 1989. "Recovering Event Histories by Cubic Spline Interpolation." Mathematical Population Studies 1(4): 327-55.
- Lam, David A. 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications." Journal of Human Resources 23(4): 462-87.
- Lam, David A. 1988. "Lorenz Curves, Inequality, and Social Welfare under Changing Population Composition." Journal of Policy Modeling 10(1): 141-62.
- Lam, David A. 1987. "Distribution Issues in the Relationship between Population Growth and Economic Development." in Population Growth and Economic Development: Issues and Evidence, edited by D. Gale Johnson and Ronald Demos Lee. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
- Lam, David A. 1986. "The Dynamics of Population Growth, Differential Fertility, and Inequality." American Economic Review 76(5): 1103-16.
- Lam, David A. 1984. "The Variance of Population Characteristics in Stable Populations, with Applications to the Distribution of Income." Population Studies 38(1): 117-27.
- David Lam reappointed as ISR Director through 2021
- Youth bulges and youth unemployment
- Lam and Binder say marriage data alone may not prove the husband "breadwinner" preference
- Nov 9, Rackham: David Lam helps kick off Bicentennial Symposium on UM's past, present, future social science research
- Nobel laureate Angus Deaton, David Lam, and colleagues discuss global poverty, 10/5, 4pm
- Lam on what helps and hurts in world-wide youth unemployment
- Lam explores dimensions of the projected 4 billion increase in world population before 2100
- Lam says Health and Retirement Study is one of the most important surveys in the world
- Lam discusses shifts in global population, past and future
- Lam says tightening global labor market good for American workers
- David Lam is new director of Institute for Social Research
- Lam says improving U.S. economy may spur higher fertility, but if not, we shouldn't worry
- Lam discusses youth population dynamics and economics in sub-Saharan Africa
- Lam looks at population and development in next 15 years in UN commission keynote address
- David Lam to lead European research program studying labor markets of poor countries
- Lam says we should not be afraid to celebrate birth of 7 billionth child
- David Lam participates in Hopkins' symposium on the meaning of the 7 billionth human
- Lam says 7 billionth child almost surely better off than 6 billionth
- Lam discusses sustainability for the world at 7 billion with John Hockenberry (audio)
- Lam discusses implications of innovation for population growth in Post story
- Lam says fears of 'Population Bomb' unfounded in 2011
- Lam says increased food production, education eased effects of population growth
- Lam says nation's shrinking share of global population not cause for alarm
- Lam says food production, urbanization, education mitigated "population bomb"
- Lam cited in discussion of world population changes over past 60 years - Portuguese
- Research Network on AIDS and Older Persons in Africa and Asia is a new international network led by Knodel and Lam.
- David Lam says African scholar Geegbae's visit to U.S. has two-way importance
- Knodel and Lam lead the new Research Network on AIDS and Older Persons in Africa and Asia
- David Lam appointed Chair, NSF International Advisory Board for IPUMS