Justin James Michael Wolfers, born in 1972, is an Australian economist and public policy scholar. “I know it is a policy, rather than an economics conference, because there is a line for the women’s toilet,” she tweeted last November. For years, they have enamored the news media with their eclectic brand of the economics of everyday life, in the “Freakonomics” vein. I particularly liked his joking around before the debate when Gene Epstein asked him how he met his American wife. Matilda happily shoved pieces of fusilli pasta into her mouth. I think he underestimates how much student loans â¦ Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers NBER Working Paper No. Economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, based on findings in their research, argue that domestic violence and female suicide decline in states that legalize no-fault divorce. “It wasn’t what he said; it was his long hair,” she said. “We’re experts about abstract notions, so my friends might call me and say, ‘How’s the economy doing?’ but not, ‘Should I get married?’ ”. Her mother scrambled to find work. “All of a sudden, ideas I had expressed before that had seemed sort of nutty made sense.”. Mr. Wolfers said that although he has an emotional side, “as an economist I’ve learned to squash it like hell.”. “So for the next couple of weeks I called him ‘Mr. Within a year, she was itching to get back to the academy. It’s like a gene or something.”, Still, Ms. Stevenson said her self-esteem took a beating at Harvard. “They’re terrific economists,” said N. Gregory Mankiw, the Harvard economics professor who taught the couple during graduate school, adding that he saw no evidence that their public profile had “affected the quality of their scientific work.” (Professor Mankiw is a contributor to the Economic View column in Sunday Business.). He didnât get that job but was offered other coveted academic positions, including at Harvard, Yale and Columbia. “Betsey used to tell this story as, ‘He was too good-looking to be an economist,’ ” he said. Until last September, Ms. Stevenson was the chief economist at the Labor Department, and has written influential papers on the effect of Title IX, which guarantees women equal access to academic and athletic programs, on women’s education and on future job success. Their daughter, Matilda, who is almost 2 1/2 , attends classes in art, music and soccer. 1 Economics and Open Marriage January 24, 2012 @ 9:52am by Justin Wolfers (Photo: Charles Fettinger) I have to admit that it counts as one of the more bizarre requests of my scholarly life. Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers are the go-to pair on what some might call âlovenomics,â having produced much research on marriage, divorce and child-rearing. Justin Wolfers' homepage. BIRDS do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. forbesindia.com â Home UpFront Global News An economist offers advice on the most urgent tasks that need to be done for the economy in the next presidential term By Justin Wolfers Published: Nov 7, 2020 Image: Al Drago/ The New York Times Dear Mr. President: The American people face enormous challenges. The couple officially met at a party. LAST month, Ms. Stevenson and Mr. Wolfers presented new research into what is known as the Easterlin Paradox. “It’s not a profession that rewards modesty in any way.”. But Mr. Wolfers says the couple’s friends generally know better. “Any attempts to hide his feelings, positive or negative, are doomed to failure. Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times. Both describe their childhood experiences of divorce and unemployment as profoundly formative, professionally and personally. They found that womenâs happiness levels had dropped over time in â¦  Prior to coming to the University of Michigan, Wolfers was associate professor of business and public policy at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Stevenson has read the research suggesting that children go further educationally if they grow up surrounded by books. â Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) June 24, 2016 A victory it was â for those who reject the political and economic policies of recent years. Sometimes people can’t resist asking for advice. The first week on the job, he neglected to collect receipts on some of the bets he had placed with his boss’s money. Wolfers is a Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Mr. Wolfers once distilled a research paper by fellow economists on “present value earnings losses associated with job displacement” like this: Losing your job stinks. After Wellesley, she worked as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve, then left for Harvard to begin her Ph.D. Justin Wolfers is a nice guy with a sense of humor. Ms. Stevenson has an irresistible laugh and a stylish taste in clothes and shoes. Matilda’s nanny has a master’s degree in education and draws an annual salary of $50,000. Marriage and the Market by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, economists at the Univesity of Pennsylvaniaâs Wharton School, âre-frame Coontzâs careful history of the family in the language of economics,â exploring the economic forces underlying changes â¦ “Our friends don’t see us as experts, God bless them,” he said. They are shown at home with their daughter, Matilda, and family dog, Max. (Why? Ms. Stevenson’s confidence came later. “So now we are not married,” Mr. Wolfers joked, “but we both have jobs.”, Mr. Wolfers excelled at math from an early age and began studying economics in high school. United Airlines might require its employees to take the vaccine. His parents went through a bitter divorce when he was 15, leaving the family dependent on government assistance for a while. Two-earner couples have become the norm, and families spend less time on housework. (Ms. Stevenson and Mr. Wolfers found significant problems with data from both of those countries.). From there, he joined Australia’s central bank. A payroll tax cut is the politically most expedient way to shovel money to those who need it least. This seems to be at odds with his belief that all aspects of life can be described by an economic concept or a cold, bleak economics formula.”. They sifted through unemployment statistics to find the optimal population of potential nannies for Matilda: 20-something teachers. But she realized that many of the popular students in high school did not end up having the kind of adult life she wanted. But when Ms. Stevenson, 40, and Mr. Wolfers, 39, start talking about say, diapers or nursing, the conversation takes an odd turn. In an early class with Professor Mankiw, Mr. Wolfers took issue with one of his professor’s points, calling out, “That’s bollocks, Greg.”, Professor Mankiw still remembers the incident. But in light of the Gingrich affair â (which one? Their home in Philadelphia, in a historic building that once housed an African-American publishing house, features soaring ceilings and custom iron work. At first, Ms. Stevenson dismissed him as a mere political scientist. They are now writing an introductory economics textbook. (Yes.) Using a red laser pointer to highlight PowerPoint graphs, Ms. Stevenson told a group of economists, psychologists and other experts gathered at the Russell Sage Foundation on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that earlier research had failed to take into account that as people and countries grow richer, it takes a much bigger amount of absolute dollars to raise incomes, and thus happiness. Economics pervades their personal lives. “She has a weird cleverness about how to use the data in the real world to answer the questions in front of us,” said Caroline M. Hoxby, who served as one of her thesis advisers and is now a professor at Stanford. “That is something that can’t be taught. Before Matilda arrived, Ms. Stevenson reviewed research on children and their effect on adult happiness. So far, the books have stayed — in custom-built shelves. One might have expected marriage to disappear as its traditional benefits faded. That they are themselves a couple — unmarried, for tax reasons they regularly cite — adds to the allure. In high school in Virginia, she was a top student in math and science but felt out of place in a social milieu that prized looks and boyfriends over academics.  In 2014, he was named by International Monetary Fund as one of the 25 brightest young economists who are expected to shape the world's thinking about the global economy in the future. In 2001, Wolfers met Yellen again, when she and husband Akerlof interviewed him for an academic job at Berkeley. Mr. Wolfers has been a co-author of papers on subjects as diverse as capital punishment and racial bias among N.B.A. In the attic is a home gym with a treadmill, a boxing bag, a recumbent bicycle and a flat-screen television. “But somehow the story has gotten less generous.”. But this occasion was different. Those economists, Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson, both at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed data from several large-scale surveys that have tracked the general well-being of Americans and Europeans from as far back as 1972. A glass-top Noguchi coffee table is in the living room, next to a white Jonathan Adler casting couch covered in a sheepskin throw from Costco. “Betsey says, here are a set of benefits and costs, and they chose to do the emotional thing. He is a contributor to the New York Times (where he writes for The Upshot blog) and the Wall Street Journal, and was an editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity from 2009 through Fall 2015. But at their home last month, their delight in their daughter was clear. First documented by the economist Richard Easterlin in the 1970s, this concept involves the link between economic growth and happiness. What’s more, as countries become richer, their populations don’t become happier. The idea is that, within a given country, people with higher incomes are more likely to be happy, and yet, for the most part, the average level of happiness doesn’t vary much from rich countries and poor countries. That may sound a little abstract, but economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers discovered a chilling example of the way that the increased availability of divorce empowered women. Neither Mr. Wolfers nor Ms. Stevenson grew up this way. Their research shows that men have grown happier as women have become unhappier. (He used a more colorful word.). So she turned down a faculty position at the University of Michigan and moved to California with Mr. Wolfers, who had accepted a job at the Stanford business school. He is professor of economics and public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and a Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. It also helps that they don’t fit the stereotypes of tweedy academics. My wife racked up $150k on a law degree (state school with residency) I have $50k in an undergrad in business (state school with non-resident) We will pay it back, eventually. They have one child, but there are two strollers, a Bugaboo and a Bob baby jogger, parked in the front hall of their stylish home here. When her father, a pilot, left the Air Force, he had trouble finding a job. By the time Wolfers was in year 12, Roslyn had found another house, but it only had two bedrooms: she got one, Justin got the other, and the rest of the family slept in the garage. The first study was the work of husband and wife economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers at the University of Pennsylvania. “To get a 10 percent increase in income, you need more dollars than when you are poor.”, Asked for comment, Mr. Easterlin declined to be interviewed but pointed out in an e-mail that their research excluded China and India. Mention loading the dishwasher and he tosses out “fungibility.” The low cost of two big teddy bears they bought for Matilda gets Ms. Stevenson ruminating on productivity gains. Earlier this month, North Carolina voted to prohibit the practice, and, for the first time, President Barack Obama clearly came out They cite a number of possible reasons, including more balanced expectations between men and women about how a marriage will actually work, as well as the fact that fewer people are marrying in the first place. They have impressive degrees and serious careers and the social markers that go with them. You either have it or you don’t have it. As @jasonfurman has noted, a 2% cut would yield $5,508 for a high-income couple, but â¦ Some of the wagers went south and he was fired, although not before telling his boss, “You are extrapolating beyond good data.”. They found that in states that adopted such laws, women’s suicide rates dropped, domestic abuse declined and even the number of women being murdered by their husbands fell. Their professional stature extends beyond their study of domestic life.  Wolfers attended James Ruse Agricultural High School (1985–1990). Ms. Stevenson went to work for Forrester Research, the technology consulting firm. marriage based on â¦ Justin James Michael Wolfers, born in 1972, is an Australian economist and public policy scholar. Mr. Wolfers, an iPad fan, wants to get rid of their print books. BOTH hew — one might even say passionately — to the data. If you’re relatively affluent, as they are, they recommend outsourcing child care and domestic chores so you can spend your time on more leisure or economically worthwhile pursuits. BETSEY STEVENSON and Justin Wolfers might sound like almost any upscale couple. Wolfers holds a Ph.D. in Economics (1997–2001) and an Master of Economics (2000), both from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney (1991–1994). After all, Iâm just a straight-laced economist. “Education was the only way out of a dreary strip-mall existence,” she said. She headed for Wellesley College and eventually decided to study economics. Normally in the Soho debates, of which this was one, both sides get votes from the previous undecided. Biden’s top economic adviser warns the economy will be in ‘a much worse place’ without more aid. In her third year there, a handsome Australian on a Fulbright scholarship arrived. Mr. Wolfers, who is Australian, looks like a nerdy surfer and tends to pull his chin-length blond hair into a ponytail. Mr. Blanchard, now at M.I.T., said that some economists bluff how much they know but that “my nose told me he knew the numbers.”, Ms. Stevenson knows the numbers, too. They don’t really know.) Wolfers said that student loan people wouldnât spend much of the money. Instead, it has evolved. The national discussion about same-sex marriage is heating up. Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers are the go-to pair on what some might call “lovenomics,” having produced much research on marriage, divorce and child-rearing. Mr. Wolfers, kneading one of Ms. Stevenson’s pedicured feet, interrupted. If they don’t quite sound like the rest of us, that’s because these two Harvard Ph.D.’s form a sort of power couple in the world of the dismal science, or at least a certain corner of it. His mother, Roslyn Wolfers, said she was bemused by this analysis.  He is noted for his research on happiness and its relation to income. Although Mr. Wolfers acknowledged having “huge relationship phobia,” because of his parents’ divorce, the couple applied for dozens of jobs together and ended up accepting posts at Wharton. Are people in rich countries happier than people in poor countries? the one involving his wifeâs accusation that â¦ “Mama,” Matilda interrupted, “stop talking about work.”. Boby Michael, "IMF Lists 25 Brightest Young Economists", International Business Times, Peterson Institute for International Economics, Shared Earning/Shared Parenting relationship, "RePEc Genealogy page for Justin Wolfers", "Much-Watched Couple in Economics Lands at U. of Michigan", "25 years at the top of the HSC: What makes James Ruse special", http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/04/subjective-well-being-income, "The future of economics isn't so dismal", "Macmillan Learning announces publication date for new Stevenson, Wolfers economics textbooks", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Justin_Wolfers&oldid=995343309, People educated at James Ruse Agricultural High School, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2019, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 20 December 2020, at 14:47. 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