Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Economics
Professor Sullivan, the McDonagh Associate Professor of Economics at Notre Dame, is among the leading poverty scholars in the United States. He has been a visiting scholar at the National Poverty Center and a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, Harris School. His research examines the consumption, saving, and borrowing behavior of poor households, and how welfare and tax policy affects the well-being of the poor. Recent work analyzes consumption and income based measures of poverty and inequality in the U.S. over the past fifty years. His research has been supported by grants from the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Sullivan has published articles in several top journals including in the American Economic Review, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, the Journal of Economic Perspectives, the Journal of Human Resources, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Sullivan also has a reputation as an excellent teacher; in 2010 he received the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
In 2012, with fellow Notre Dame Professor William Evans, Professor Sullivan co-founded the Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO). LEO combines the unique strengths of Notre Dame as a prominent research university with Catholic Charities USA, the largest private provider of services to the poor in America, to conduct rigorous research and identify effective and replicable solutions to reduce poverty in America.
This professorship was established officially in 2013 by John Madden (’59, ’62 MA), a member of the Ireland Advisory Council and the College of Arts and Letters Advisory Council. It is named in memory of an admired Notre Dame economics professor from the late 1940's.