Watch: 2024 Downing Public Lecture - May

Professor Betsey Stevenson, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of Michigan, presented the second Downing Public Lecture of the year at the University of Melbourne, on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

Marriage, Family, and Work in an Age of Rising Gender Equality

Professor Betsey Stevenson explores how economics can help us understand how the motivation for families and the behaviour within families has changed over the past several decades, how our jobs and work life have changed, and the interactions between changes in the family and the workplace. She also touches on the role public policy has played in facilitating (or not) those changes.

Betsey Stevenson presenting a lecture on stage
About the speaker

Betsey Stevenson is a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan. She is a faculty research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London, a fellow of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich, and an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. Professor Stevenson is a member of the Board of Directors of Lyft, Inc. Previously, she served as a member of the Biden-Harris transition team at the US Treasury, and a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2013 to 2015. She was the Chief Economist of the US Department of Labor from 2010 to 2011.

Professor Stevenson has published widely in leading economics journals about the labour market and the impact of public policies on outcomes both in the labour market and for families. She is the co-host of the podcast Think Like an Economist and is the co-author of Principles of Economics, Principles of Microeconomics, and Principles of Macroeconomics textbooks that have been adapted and translated for use in many countries worldwide. Her analysis of economic data and the economy are frequently covered in both print and television media.

Professor Stevenson earned her Masters and PhD in economics from Harvard University.

About the lecture series

Distinguished visiting economists are invited to present at the Downing Lecture to promote analysis and discussion of economic and social research policy. The lecture series has been made possible by a generous fellowship established by friends and colleagues of the late Professor Richard Downing (BA (Hons) 1936), in memory of his life and work.

Richard Ivan Downing was Ritchie Professor of Research and Economics at the University from 1952 until his death in 1975. Not only did he make significant contributions to economic research, but he also put much effort into guiding and fostering the research interests of students and staff. For twenty years, he edited The Economic Record. He also played a prominent part in founding what is now the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.