Influential Women in Economics From the Last 10 Years

Influential Women in Economics From the Last 10 Years

Our list of influential women in economics is as broad and impressive as the field itself. These female professionals have worked to alleviate poverty, researched global trade imbalances, studied employment patterns in developing countries, and more. This list features famous women economists who have been highly cited and searched online over the last 10 years.

Top 10 Women in Economics From the Last 10 Years

  1. Esther Duflo
  2. Stephanie Kelton
  3. Janet Yellen
  4. Christine Lagrds
  5. Anne Case
  6. Gita Gopinath
  7. Carmen Reinhart
  8. Keyu Jin
  9. Kristalina Georgieva
  10. Isabel Schnabel

According to Wikipedia, Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Microeconomics analyzes the interaction of individual agents and markets. Macroeconomics analyzes the economy as a system.

Current women scholars in the field research in areas such as poverty alleviation (Duflo), fair wages (Yellen), modern monetary theory (Kelton), the gender gap in earnings and income inequality (Goldin).

22% of tenured and tenure-track faculty in economics are women.

Pioneering Women Economists in History

  1. Joan Robinson was a central figure in post-Keynesian economics and a contributor to economic theory.
  2. Anna Schwartz was a prominent researcher who wrote on the monetary history of the United States.
  3. Rosa Luxemburg was a famous economist, activist, philosopher, and revolutionary.
  4. Julie A. Nelson is a founder in the field of feminist economics.
  5. Susan Athey is a microeconomist, and the first female winner of the John Bates Clark Medal.

Key Associations for Women in Economics

  1. American Economic Association: The AEA is a non-profit non-partisan, scholarly association dedicated to the discussion and publication of economics research.
  2. Academic Female Finance Committee: AFFECT is a committee of the American Finance Association (AFA), designed to promote the advancement of women academics in the field of finance.
  3. The Women in Economics Initiative: The Initiative is a non-profit established to advance gender equality in the field of economics.

Influential Women in Economics From the Last 10 Years

  1. #1

    Esther Duflo

    1972 - Present (50 years)

    Esther Duflo is Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She earned a B.A. from École normale supérieure in Paris, an M.A.S. from the School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, and a Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    In 2019, Duflo, along with collaborators Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, were awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for their work conducting trial experiments to alleviate poverty. She is a co-founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab which, with offices across the world including Paris and India, trains researchers to develop and conduct experiments to better understand the most effective development strategies.

    Her particular interest and work in India have yielded important insights into the causes and solutions of poverty. She is the director for the development economics program at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Duflo is widely respected for her contributions to economics and her work to improve the economic status of women, and was named as one of 2012's Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. In 2015, she received the prestigious A.SK Social Sciences Award of $200,000 from the WZB Berlin Social Sciences Center.

  2. #2

    Stephanie Kelton

    1969 - Present (53 years)
    Stephanie A Kelton is an American heterodox economist and academic, and a leading proponent of Modern Monetary Theory. She is a professor at Stony Brook University and a Senior Fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. She was formerly a professor at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. She also served as an advisor to Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign.
  3. #3

    Janet Yellen

    1946 - Present (76 years)
    Janet Louise Yellen is an American economist, educator and government official serving as the 78th United States secretary of the treasury since January 26, 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018. Yellen is the first woman to hold either role. She is also a professor emerita at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and formerly a distinguished fellow in residence at the Brookings Institution.
  4. #4

    Christine Lagarde

    1956 - Present (66 years)
    Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde is a French politician and lawyer who is the current president of the European Central Bank, a position she has held since 1 November 2019. Prior to this appointment and between July 2011 and September 2019, she was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund .
  5. #5

    Anne Case

    1958 - Present (64 years)
    Anne Catherine Case, Lady Deaton, is an American economist who is currently the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Emeritus, at Princeton University. Early life and career She graduated from University at Albany, SUNY in 1980 and obtained a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University in 1983, followed by a Ph.D from the university in 1988. After working as an assistant professor at Department of Economics at Harvard University 1988-1991, she has worked at Department of Economics, Princeton University and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International A...
  6. #6

    Gita Gopinath

    1971 - Present (51 years)
    Gita Gopinath is an Indian-American economist serving as the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund , its number-two leadership position, since January 21, 2022. From 2019 to 2022 she was the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund. In that role she was the Director of IMF’s Research Department and the Economic Counsellor of the Fund.
  7. #7

    Carmen Reinhart

    1955 - Present (67 years)
    Carmen M. Reinhart is a Cuban-American economist and the Minos A. Zombanakis Professor of the International Financial System at Harvard Kennedy School. Previously, she was the Dennis Weatherstone Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for International Economics at the University of Maryland. She is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, Founding Contributor of VoxEU, and a member of Council on Foreign Relations. She is als...
  8. #8

    Keyu Jin

    1982 - Present (40 years)
    Jin Keyu is a Chinese economist, associate professor of economics at the London School of Economics and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, specialising in international macroeconomics and the Chinese economy. Her research focuses on global trade imbalances, global asset prices and China’s economic growth model.
  9. #9

    Kristalina Georgieva

    1953 - Present (69 years)
    Kristalina Ivanova Georgieva-Kinova is a Bulgarian economist serving as chair and managing director of the International Monetary Fund since 2019. She was the Chief Executive of the World Bank Group from 2017 to 2019 and served as Acting President of the World Bank Group from 1 February 2019 to 8 April 2019 following the resignation of Jim Yong Kim. She previously served as Vice-President of the European Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker from 2014 to 2016.
  10. #10

    Isabel Schnabel

    1971 - Present (51 years)
    Isabel Schnabel is a German economist who currently serves as executive board member of the European Central Bank. She became professor of financial economics at the University of Bonn in 2015 and a member of the German Council of Economic Experts in 2014. She worked previously at the University of Mainz from 2007 to 2015.
  11. #11

    Kate Raworth

    1970 - Present (52 years)
    Kate Raworth is an English economist known for ‘doughnut economics’, which she understands as an economic model that balances between essential human needs and planetary boundaries. She is Senior Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and a Professor of Practice at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
  12. #12

    Mariana Mazzucato

    1968 - Present (54 years)

    Mariana Mazzucato is founder and director of the University College of London's Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, as well as professor of economics of innovation and public value. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and international relations from Tufts University, and a Masters and Ph.D in economics from the New School for Social Research.

    An expert in the economics of innovation, she has researched the role of innovation in public and private organizations and examined methods for guiding innovation to further strategic goals. She wrote The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, in which she suggests that the marginalization of entrepreneurship and innovation to the private sector is the wrong approach, pointing out that many consumer technologies emerged from government funded research and development efforts.

  13. #13

    Laurence Boone

    1969 - Present (53 years)
    Laurence Boone is a French economist whose fields of interest include macroeconomics, European politics and public finance. She served as an economic advisor to the President of the French Republic between July 2014 and March 2016 under François Hollande’s presidency.
  14. #14

    Linda Yueh

    1977 - Present (45 years)
    Linda Yueh is a British/American economist, broadcaster, and author, born in Taiwan and of dual British and American citizenship. Yueh is an adjunct professor of economics at London Business School, and a Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University. She was also a Visiting Professor at Peking University and associated with both the Centre for Economic Performance and IDEAS research centres at the London School of Economics . She is a TV and radio presenter, including for BBC programmes such as Radio 4 Analysis, Business Daily on BBC World Service, and Radio 4 Today programme. From...
  15. #15

    Claudia Goldin

    1946 - Present (76 years)
    Claudia Goldin is an American economic historian and labor economist who is currently the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University. She is a co-director of the NBER’s Gender in the Economy Study Group and was the director of the NBER’s Development of the American Economy program from 1989 to 2017. Goldin’s research covers a wide range of topics, including the female labor force, the gender gap in earnings, income inequality, technological change, education, and immigration. Most of her research interprets the present through the lens of the past and explores the origins of curre...
  16. #16

    Clara Ponsatí

    1957 - Present (65 years)
    Clara Ponsatí Obiols is a Catalan economist from Spain, appointed Councillor of Education of the Generalitat of Catalonia by former President Carles Puigdemont on 14 July 2017. Before she was seconded to her post, she was the Head of the School of Economics and Finance at the University of St Andrews. In 2019 extradition warrants were raised to return her from Scotland to Spain where she faced a charge of sedition because of her role in the attempt to make Catalonia independent.
  17. #17

    Betsey Stevenson

    Betsey Ayer Stevenson is an economist and Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Additionally, she is a fellow of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich, a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and servers on the board of the American Economic Association. The Obama Administration announced her appointment as a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers, a post she served from 2013 through 2015. She previously served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor under Secretary Hil...
  18. #18

    Mari Elka Pangestu

    1956 - Present (66 years)
    Mari Elka Pangestu , is an Indonesian economist who has been managing director of Development Policy and Partnerships in the World Bank since 2020. The President of the World Bank, David Malpass, announced her appointment on 9 January 2020 saying that she would be responsible for development policy and partnerships in her role in the bank. Previously she served as Minister of Trade in Indonesia from October 2004 to October 2011.
  19. #19

    Julia Cagé

    1984 - Present (38 years)
    Julia Cagé is a French economist specializing in development economics, political economy, and economic history. Early life Julia Cagé has a twin sister, Agathe Cagé, who is a technocrat and an advisor to Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.
  20. #20

    Jayati Ghosh

    1955 - Present (67 years)
    Jayati Ghosh is an Indian development economist. She is the Chairperson of the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and her core areas of study include international economics, employment patterns in developing countries, macroeconomic policy, and issues related to gender and development.
  21. #21

    Stefanie Stantcheva

    1986 - Present (36 years)
    Stéfanie Stantcheva is a Bulgarian-born French economist who is a professor of economics at Harvard University. She is a member of the French Council of Economic Analysis. Her research focuses on public finance—in particular questions of optimal taxation. In 2018, she was selected by The Economist as one of the 8 best young economists of the decade. In 2020, she was awarded the Elaine Bennett Research Prize.
  22. #22

    Dambisa Moyo

    1969 - Present (53 years)
    Dambisa Felicia Moyo is a Zambian-born economist and author, known for her analysis of macroeconomics and global affairs. She serves on the boards of Chevron Corporation, Condé Nast and the 3M Company. Moyo worked for two years at the World Bank and eight years at Goldman Sachs before becoming an author and international public speaker. She has written four New York Times bestselling books: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa , How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead , Winner Take All: China’s Race for R...
  23. #23

    Emi Nakamura

    1980 - Present (42 years)
    Emi Nakamura is a Canadian-American economist. She is the Chancellor’s Professor of Economics at University of California, Berkeley. Nakamura is a research associate and co-director of the Monetary Economics Program of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a co-editor of the American Economic Review.
  24. #24

    Beatrice Weder di Mauro

    1965 - Present (57 years)
    Beatrice Weder di Mauro is a Swiss-Italian academic and businesswoman who is currently professor of economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Distinguished Fellow-in-residence at the Emerging Markets Institute of INSEAD Singapore, and a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Since 2018, she also serves as President of the Centre for Economic Policy Research .
  25. #25

    Anne Osborn Krueger

    1934 - Present (88 years)
    Anne Osborn Krueger is an American economist. She was the World Bank Chief Economist from 1982 to 1986, and the first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund from 2001 to 2006. She is currently the senior research professor of international economics at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. She also is a senior fellow of Center for International Development and the Herald L. and Caroline Ritch Emeritus Professor of Sciences and Humanities’ Economics Department at Stanford University.
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Image Credits:

Top row, left to right: Patricia Hill Collins, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Malala Yousafzai, Shafi Goldwasser, Jennifer Doudna, Fabiola Gianotti, Michiko Kakutani, Lauren Underwood.

Bottom row, left to right: Fei-Fei Li, Esther Duflo, Kathy Reichs, Nancy Fraser, Brené Brown, Judith Curry, Jill Lepore, Zaha Hadid.