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Mary Manning Cleveland
Adjunct Professor of Environmental Economics, Columbia University

Mary M “Polly” Cleveland teaches a course on “Poverty, Inequality and the Environment” at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She has also taught environmental economics at SIPA.

In 1970-71, she worked for Ralph Nader on the political influence of large California landowners. During this work, she encountered the ideas of the 19th century American economist and reformer, Henry George, author of Progress and Poverty. This inspired her to lifelong activism for social justice, with emphasis on the economics of inequality.

She has also worked in a family business producing health and beauty aids; until recently, she managed two small New York City apartment buildings.

She graduated from Radcliffe College in physics in 1966, did graduate work at Harvard and UC Berkeley in ancient Near Eastern languages, and completed a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley in 1984, with a dissertation on “Consequences and Causes of Unequal Distribution of Wealth.”

Her website is www.mcleveland.org, which contains her publications and her blog, Econamici.

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