Dr. Bollinger received his B.A. in Economics from Michigan State University and earned both an M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
At UW-Madison Dr. Bollinger first encountered the topic of measurement error, a research agenda he has continued through his career. His early work was guided by Dr. Charles F. Manski and influenced by both Dr. Arthur S. Goldberger and Dr. Martin H. David. Prior work in measurement error considered simple models where the errors were completely random. Dr. Bollinger’s work was among the first to consider misclassification error, where the sign of the error is related to the underlying truth. This question led to Dr. Bollinger’s selection of dissertation topic. His dissertation considered how misclassification in union status impacted estimates of the union wage effect. Other early work with Martin David considered how misclassification of Food Stamp program participation impacted estimates of program use. Though the econometric modeling of the project was primary, a secondary theme emerged from this research: how to apply the research to improve public policy programs that endeavor to reduce poverty.
At Georgia State University, Dr. Bollinger began the work of a young Assistant Professor, where he continued researching measurement error and teaching. His association with his colleague Dr. Keith Ihlanfeldt brought research collaborations in the area of urban and public economics.
Dr. Bollinger joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky in August 1998, rising to Associate Professor in 2001 and Professor in 2007. At U.K. his research has continued to explore both measurement error and poverty, and he has expanded his interests to more applied questions in labor and public economics.
In 2012, he took over as the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) where he works with local, state and federal government agencies to bring rigorous economic analysis to important policy topics such as education, homelessness and job training. Dr. Bollinger presents his economic forecast for the state at the Annual Gatton College Economic Outlook Conference each February and to various community groups throughout the Commonwealth. He also serves on the Kentucky State Consensus Forecasting Group.