Susan L. Averett, Ph.D., is the Charles A. Dana professor of Economics at Lafayette College. She is the author of dozens of academic articles and book chapters. Her research covers a wide array of topics in both labor, health and demographic economics. She is the co-editor (along with Saul Hoffman and Laura Argys) of the "Handbook on Women and the Economy" to be published in 2018 by Oxford University Press. She is the co-author with Saul Hoffman of the textbook “Women in the Economy: Family, Work and Pay” and she is an associate editor at Economics and Human Biology. She was co-editor with Edward Gamber of the Eastern Economic Journal from 2010-2015. She is a past board member of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession.

She joined IZA as a Research Fellow in March 2012.



IZA Discussion Paper No. 10917

Policymakers and the general public have expressed increasing concern over rising health care costs. The Certificate-of-Need (CON) programs began at the federal level in 1974 to stem the increase in costs by limiting hospital expansion and acquisition of equipment. The federal requirement for CON programs ended in 1987; however, 37...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10916

States are increasingly resorting to raising the minimum wage to boost the earnings of those at the bottom of the income distribution. In this paper, we examine the effects of minimum wage increases on the health of low-educated Hispanic women, who constitute a growing part of the U.S. labor force,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 10185
forthcoming in: Applied Economics Letters

This paper examines the effect of minimum wage increases on the self-reported health of teenage workers. We use a difference-in-differences estimation strategy and data from the Current Population Survey, and disaggregate the sample by race/ethnicity and gender to uncover the differential effects of changes in the minimum wage on health....

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9608
published in: Applied Demography and Public Health in the 21st Century (pp. 201-219). 2017. Springer International Publishing.

The increasing prevalence of obesity during pregnancy raises concerns over the intergenerational transmission of obesity and its potential to exacerbate the current obesity epidemic. The fetal origins hypothesis posits that the intrauterine environment might have lasting effects on children's outcomes. A large literature establishes that mother's pre-pregnancy obesity is correlated...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9196

Social scientists theorize that the inverse relationship between socio-economic status and family size represents a trade-off between the quality and quantity of children. Evaluating this hypothesis empirically requires addressing the simultaneity of the quality and quantity decisions. Researchers have used the unanticipated birth of twins as exogenous variation in family...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9173
forthcoming in: Public Finance Review

In 1993, the benefit levels of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) were changed significantly based on the number of children in the household. Employing a difference-in-differences plus mother fixed-effects framework, we find better mother-rated health for children of unmarried black mothers and married white and Hispanic mothers, lower accident...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 9052
published in: Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2016, 20(3), 655-664.

We investigate the association between prepregnancy obesity and birth outcomes using fixed effect models comparing siblings from the same mother. A total of 7,496 births to 3,990 mothers from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 survey are examined. Outcomes include macrosomia, gestational length, incidence of low birthweight, preterm birth,...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 8153
published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2016, 29(3), 757-779.

Immigration policy continues to be at the forefront of policy discussions, and the use of welfare benefits by immigrants has been hotly debated. In 1996, Congress enacted welfare reform legislation (PRWORA), which denied the use of most means-tested assistance to non-citizens and lowered immigrant welfare dramatically. While Federal legislation imposed...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7996
forthcoming in: Southern Economic Journal

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is widespread among women, with substantial and long-lasting negative consequences. Researchers have documented a strong positive correlation between alcohol abuse and IPV. Yet prior researchers have struggled with the problem of the potential endogeneity of alcohol abuse. In this paper, we deal with this problem by...

IZA Discussion Paper No. 7512
published in: Health economics, 2017, 26(7), 875-891.

Eating disorders affect 12-25% of college women. Previous research established a positive correlation between sorority membership and eating disorders. We investigate a possible causal link between sororities and weight-related behaviors and eating disorders using data from the American College Health Association. Using Propensity Score Matching and Instrumental Variable methods, we...