BERG--Ivar E. (1929-2016),
an Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, who made important contributions to the study of higher education, labor markets and industrial sociology, died on January 1, 2016. Dr. Berg's classic book, Education and Jobs: The Great Training Robbery (1970) cast doubt on economists' assertions that people with more education earn more because they are more skilled and productive; instead, employers frequently hire people to work in jobs that do not make use of their education. His book played a major role in a landmark civil rights decision by the U. S. Supreme Court, Griggs vs. Duke Power Company (1971) and was credited with providing the bases of the theory of market signaling, for which Akerlof, Spence, and Stiglitz shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics. Among his many honors, he was elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Management, which cited him as "one of the seminal figures in the sociological study of labor markets and the founder of economic sociology." Born January 3, 1929 in Brooklyn, NY, he earned his AB at Colgate and his doctorate at Harvard. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring as a major, and on the faculties of Columbia and Vanderbilt, in addition to Penn. Dr. Berg, author of more than 70 articles and chapters and dozen books, leaves a wife, Sharon (Calli) Berg, a son and daughter-in-law, Geoffrey and Amy Berg, and stepsons Tim Smallwood (and his wife, Staci Smallwood) and Jim Smallwood (and his fiance, Catta Keith).
Published by New York Times on Jan. 10, 2016.