Core faculty

Justin Wolfers

Professor of Public Policy and Economics (on sabbatical leave)

Justin Wolfers is a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan and a visiting professor of economics at the University of Sydney. He is also a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research; a non-resident senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a research fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn; a research affiliate with the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London; an international research fellow with the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, and a fellow of the CESifo, in Munich. He was previously a visiting professor at Princeton, an associate professor at Wharton, an assistant professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and an economist with the Reserve Bank of Australia. He is also a past editor of the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, and was a member of the Congressional Budget Office Panel of Economic Advisers. Dr. Wolfers earned his PhD in economics in 2001 from Harvard University, and was a Fulbright, Knox and Menzies Scholar. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics in his native Australia at the University of Sydney in 1994, winning the University Medal. He was recently named by the IMF as one of the "25 economists under 45 shaping the way we think about the global economy." Wolfers' research focuses on labor economics, macroeconomics, political economy, law and economics, social policy and behavioral economics. Beyond research, he is a contributing columnist for the New York Times, appears frequently on TV, radio and in print. He is also a popular teacher, with many teaching awards to his name, and an author of a leading introductory economics textbook.

Wolfers is on sabbatical leave for the 2023-2024 academic year. Learn more on Wolfers' NBER profile.

Educational background

PhD in economics, Harvard University

Professional affiliations

  • Visiting professor, University of Sydney
  • Contributing columnist, New York Times
  • Research associate, National Bureau of Economics Research
  • Senior fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Non-resident senior fellow, The Brookings Institution
  • Research affiliate, Centre for Economics Policy Research (London)
  • Research fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn)
  • National fellow, Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality (Stanford)
  • Research fellow, Center for Economic Studies / Ifo Institute (Munich)
  • International research fellow, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Germany)
  • Research rellow, National Centre for Econometric Research, Australia
  • Research associate, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (ANU, Canberra)
  • Advisory board, The Niskanen Center
  • Honorary board, National Economic Education Delegation

Current research

Labor Economics; Social Policy; Law and Economics; Political Economy; Behavioral Economics; Macroeconomics

Recent publications

Principles of Economics, Macmillan Publishers,

Podcast cover for Think Like An Economist


Stevenson and Wolfers: Think Like an Economist

Think Like an Economist and you’ll see the world more clearly, empowering you to make better decisions at work, at home, and in your community. Leading economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers will take you on a joyous romp through their field as they introduce you to the big ideas in economics, and show how you can apply them to live in your own life. Their signature approach reveals that every decision is an economic decision and this podcast uncovers the economic forces that shape the world around you.
Check out "Think Like an Economist."