Janet Rothenberg Pack z”l




Janet Rothenberg Pack z”l

Janet Rothenberg Pack is a professor emerita in the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Her research focus has been on public economics, with an emphasis on urban and regional economics.  Pack is currently investigating “Agglomeration Economies and Economic Development” (a project stimulated by the World Bank’s “Knowledge Platform:  Urbanization Project).


She began her career as the Economist for the Redevelopment Agency of New Haven, Connecticut, which was undergoing major urban renewal at the time.  During these same years, she was a lecturer in the Department of City Planning at Yale University teaching courses on Urban Modeling.


From there she moved on to a position at the newly established School of Public and Urban Policy at the University of Pennsylvania (1970).  When the University transferred its public policy programs to the Wharton School, Pack was among the first members of the new Department of Public and Urban Policy (1978), currently the Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.  She chaired the department from 1992-97.  During that period she was also Editor of the Journal of Public Policy and Management, July, 1994 – 99.


Professor Pack has also spent many years (on leave from the University of Pennsylvania) at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C.  Many productive research and other professional activities stem from that association. She is the author and editor of a number of books, including Urban Models: Diffusion and Policy Application; Sunbelt/Frostbelt:Public Policies and Market Forces in Metropolitan Development; and Growth and Convergence in Metropolitan America.In addition, from 2000 through 2009 she organized an annual conference on Urban Affairs (attended by about 40 major urban scholars).  Each conference resulted in a volume of Brookings Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs and the comments of the papers with an introduction by Pack and the co-editors of the volume, William Gale (1990-94) and Gary Burtless (1995-99).


Throughout her career, Professor Pack has been involved with academia in Israel, and has spent a number of summers at Israeli academic or research institutions including Hebrew University and the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies. She formerly served on the International Advisory Board of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.