Economics professor Krishna Pendakur will head to Harvard next September to take up a nine-month posting as the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor.


Krishna Pendakur awarded visiting professorship at Harvard University

September 14, 2015

By Diane Luckow

Economics professor Krishna Pendakur, a leading expert in the fields of economic inequality and statistical methods for economic applications, will soon be sharing his ideas and research at Harvard University.

He has been awarded the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professorship in Canadian Studies at Harvard, a nine-month posting he takes up in September 2016. He’ll be teaching an undergraduate course, on inequality and poverty in Canada and the USA, in the Canada Program at the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs. He also plans to lead a conference at Harvard in 2017 on Aboriginal peoples’ economic issues.

Pendakur has several research projects that he hopes to continue while at Harvard. These include devising new methods for estimating consumption flows from owned accommodation that could be used to better measure shelter costs and inequality, and devising new methods to establish within-household distribution of consumption, which would help to improve how we assess women’s and children’s poverty.

Pendakur says his overall agenda “is to  make life better for poor people by documenting the trials they face in economic life.”

The William Lyon Mackenzie King endowment was established in 1967 and is dedicated to creating intellectual opportunities for Canadian studies at Harvard University. The endowment was created in memory of William Lyon Mackenzie King, a Liberal who was Canada’s 10th and longest-serving prime minister. Pendakur is the first SFU faculty member to participate in the program.

On Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby, Pendakur will kick off the annual President's Lectutre Series with his presentation titled: What does inequality really mean in Canada? 99 per cent of us want to know.

He asks, "Is it true that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer?

"Social movements like Occupy Wall Street and Idle No More have responded to the perceived widening gap between the wealthy and the less fortunate, so who are the Canadian  one per cent and how did they get there? In this lecture, I’ll look at the distribution of wealth in Canada, how we compare to the rest of the world and discuss what we can do to reduce inequality."

The event is free, but registration is required.