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Mark Rank

Herbert S. Hadley Professor of Social Welfare
PhD, University of Wisconsin
Mark R. Rank

Phone: 314-935-5694


Research interests:

Poverty and economic inequality

Social welfare and social policy


Social policy


Life course​​​


Mark R. Rank is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts and speakers in the country on issues of poverty, inequality and social justice. He has published several books, as well as articles in numerous academic journals across a wide variety of fields.

Rank’s areas of research and teaching have focused on poverty, social welfare, economic inequality and social policy. His first book, “Living on the Edge: The Realities of Welfare in America,” explored the conditions of surviving on public assistance and achieved widespread critical acclaim.

His next book, “One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All,” provided a new understanding of poverty in America. His life-course research has demonstrated for the first time that a majority of Americans will experience poverty and will use a social safety net program at some point during their lives.

His latest book, “Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes” uses a multi-methodological approach to explore the nature of the American Dream and the economic viability of achieving the Dream. The book is designed to shed light on the tenuous nature of the American Dream in today’s society, and how to restore its relevance and vitality.

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