Robert Lerman is an Institute fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute as well as professor of economics at American University and a research fellow at IZA in Bonn, Germany. A leading expert on apprenticeship, he recently established the American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship. His current research focus is on skills, employer training, apprenticeship programs in the United States and abroad, and housing policies.
Lerman’s published research covers employment issues, earnings and income inequality, family structure, income support, and youth development, especially as they affect low-income populations. In the 1970s, he worked as staff economist for both the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the US Department of Labor. He was one of the first scholars to examine the patterns and economic determinants of unwed fatherhood, and to propose a youth apprenticeship strategy in the United States.
He served on the National Academy of Sciences panel on the US postsecondary education and training system, and on the Maryland Task Force on Economic Development and Apprenticeship. Lerman has testified before congressional committees on youth apprenticeship, child support policies, and the information technology labor market.
Lerman earned his AB at Brandeis University and his PhD in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.