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Robert Michael

Pronouns: He/Him

Senior Fellow
Bob is a former director of NORC and is the founding dean of UChicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

Bob currently teaches courses at the University of Chicago on the economics of child and family policy, leadership in Chicago, and co-teaches a course on “science, technology, and policy.” He has for many years worked at NORC, including as CEO from 1984 to 1989. He also served as the project director of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) Program and helped to design and conduct the NLSY79, the Children of the NLSY, the NLSY97, and the Children of the National Child Development Study (NCDS) in Great Britain. He was one of three who designed and published extensively on NORC's National Health and Social Life Survey, America’s first national probability sample survey of adult sexual behaviors.

Bob chaired the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council Panel on Poverty and Family Assistance, which recommended major changes in the official measure of poverty in the United States. His current research focuses on parental investments in children, and on adolescent and adult sexual behavior in the United States. Bob has written on the causes of divorce; the reasons for the growth of one-person households; the impact of inflation on families; the consequences of the rise in women’s employment for the family, especially children; teenage fertility; sexually transmitted disease; and abortion. In 2005, he received the Robert J. Lapham Award from the Population Association of America in recognition of his many contributions during his career blending research with the application of demographic knowledge to policy issues.



Columbia University


Ohio Wesleyan University

Appointments & Affiliations

Eliakim Hastings Moore Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus

Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago

CEO & Founding Director

NORC at the University of Chicago

Honors & Awards

Robert J. Lapham Award | 2005

Population Association of America

National Associate | 2001

National Academy of Sciences

Corresponding Fellow | 2001

The British Academy