Cornell University

Robert Smith : Biography

Robert S. Smith, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, is also a Professor in the School's Labor Economics Department.   After receiving his Ph.D. in Economics at Stanford University in 1971, he taught at the University of Connecticut and worked as an economist in the U.S. Department of Labor before coming to Cornell in 1974.  He has authored numerous articles in the field of labor economics and is co-author of Modern Labor Economics: Theory and Public Policy, the leading textbook in its field for 25 years (and now in its ninth edition).

Professor Smith's research interests have centered on analyses of various labor market policies, especially those in the safety and health area.  Most recently, he has served as co-principal investigator in the evaluation of the effects of two pilot programs in New York’s Workers’ Compensation program: one in the use of managed care and one in the use of alternative dispute resolution structures.

Professor Smith’s teaching has included the basic required labor economics courses for undergraduates and for students in the School’s professional master’s program.  In 1999 he received the School’s General Mills Foundation Award for Innovation in Instruction.

In addition to serving as Associate Dean since 1988, Professor Smith has served in the capacity of Acting Dean for three periods when the Dean was on leave.