A.B., Harvard College; Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Class of 1966 Associate Professor of Economics
Public economist, interested in using economic principles and research to inform our thinking about critical public policy issues.
Broadly speaking, I am interested in the role of the government in the economy, including taxes and government spending programs. My research has centered on issues in the economics of aging, particularly the economic determinants of workers’ retirement decisions. Some of my past projects have explored how financial incentives from Social Security and private pensions affect retirement decisions and how couples make retirement decisions. I am currently working on a book, co-authored with my Wellesley colleague Phillip Levine, on how fluctuations in the labor market, housing market, and stock market affect workers’ retirement decisions and their well-being in retirement.
I teach courses in introductory microeconomics, econometrics, health economics, and public economics (Economics 101, 203, 232, and 310). The first two courses teach students to think like an economist and provide them with the tools they need to explore the economic questions that interest them. In health and public economics, we make use of these tools to explore the health care sector and taxes and spending programs from an economic perspective.
I am actively engaged in the economics profession. I am a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. I am an editor of The Journal of Pension Economics and Finance , an academic journal focusing on pensions and retirement, and the editor of the NBER’s Bulletin on Aging and Health . I have served as a consultant to the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. I have appeared on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS and been cited in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, and msnbc.com.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two young children.