“I will be forever grateful to Eva for having recruited me, and very glad that I responded to her letter!”
Professor, Department of Economics, Bowdoin College.
Ph.D. 1989 Economics, University of Michigan
Dr. DeGraff's primary research interests are in the areas of applied demographic and labor economics in the context of developing countries. Much of her work focuses on the application of microeconomics to household decisions regarding children's work and schooling, women's labor force participation, fertility and the use of contraception. She has conducted research on these issues in Bangladesh, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Ecuador. More recently, she has developed additional research interests focusing on issues pertaining to women's employment in the United States. Her current work focuses on child labor in Brazil, the economic position of the elderly in Mexico, and the effects of changing economic structures on families in China.
PSC's Influence on Career
My years at PSC were truly wonderful! To have the opportunity at that stage of my career to be exposed to and involved in research of such high quality, and in such a supportive and collegial environment, was more than I could have hoped for. I also very much appreciated the interdisciplinary environment of the PSC. I had entered graduate school in Economics knowing that I wanted to focus on developing countries. I was not aware of economic demography as a possible field of specialization until I received a letter from Eva Mueller at the end of my first year of graduate study. That letter led to my becoming an NICHD pre-doctoral fellow for the next four years. I will be forever grateful to Eva for having recruited me, and very glad that I responded to her letter!
I have co-authored with the following PSC grad school colleagues: Rachel Connelly, Deborah Levison, Rebeca Wong and Anju Malhotra. Deborah and I have been collaborating almost continuously since our days at PSC (sometimes along with others) and have published six papers together on various aspects of women's and children's labor force participation in Brazil, with more in the works. We are currently developing a new project, building on Deborah's recent sabbatical year in Tanzania, on the effects of rural children's time spent gathering fuel and water on their education.
Memories of PSC
In addition to all the learning, there was a great camaraderie among the grad students at PSC during that time. I continue to be close friends with many of my colleagues from those days.