Solomon W. Polachek is Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York at Binghamton (Binghamton University), where he has taught since 1983. He holds appointments in the Economics and Political Science Departments, and from 1996-2000 he served as Dean of the Arts and Sciences College. His Ph.D. is from Columbia University, and he has had post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Chicago (1972 -1973) and Stanford University (1979-1980).
Polachek's prime research contributions span two areas. First is the application of life-cycle models to labor economics. Here Polachek was the first to illustrate how life-cycle human capital models explain male-female wage differentials. His extensions of this work modified traditional human capital models by introducing human capital heterogeneity to explain gender-based occupational segregation. In another application, he imbedded search, job choice, and geographic location into the human capital model, enabling him to gain insight into the analysis of geographic and job mobility including how search over the life-cycle can explain migration periodicity. A byproduct of the empirical work led to an econometric technique to estimate buyer and seller information about wages and prices. Polachek's research in this area constitutes over 150 journal articles, book chapters and conference presentations, including the book The Economics of Earnings (Cambridge University Press) 1993 written with W. Stanley Siebert. Polachek has testified about the policy implications of this research to various governmental committees and policy boards, and many of the implications have been described in the popular press including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.