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Headshot of Charles Ballard.

Charley Ballard

Area of Expertise

Education Public


Charles L. (“Charley”) Ballard joined the MSU faculty in 1983, when he received his Ph.D. from Stanford University. His research deals with income inequality, Black/White earnings differences, the Michigan economy, and the effects of tax and tariff policies, including environmental taxes and subsidies. He has published in American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Public ... Economics, National Tax Journal, Feminist Economics, and many other academic journals. His books include Michigan at the Millennium, Michigan’s Economic Future, and Real Economics for Real People.

Ballard has taught courses on public economics, public policy, and the economics of poverty and income distribution, as well as many large sections of EC 201, Introduction to Microeconomics. Over his career, he has taught more than 35,000 students. Ballard is a recipient of the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award, teaching awards in the MSU College of Business and MSU College of Social Science, and two awards from MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.

Outside the classroom, Ballard has spoken on economic issues to more than 200 groups around Michigan. He has worked extensively with the news media, providing insights to more than 300 print, radio, television, and online-media organizations.

From 2007 until 2020, he was Director of the State of the State Survey, in MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Michigan League for Public Policy. He has served as a consultant with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Treasury, and with research institutes in Australia, Denmark, and Finland.

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