Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark

(Former) Director and Ronald Henderson Professor

Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark

Contact details:

Phone: +61 3 9035 4266
Fax: +61 3 8344 2111

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)


Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research
Level 5, Faculty of Business and Economics Building. 111 Barry Street, The University of Melbourne


Professor Deborah Cobb-Clark joined the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research as Director and Ronald Henderson Professor in 2010.

Prior to joining the Melbourne Institute, Deborah has held positions at the US Labor Department, Illinois State University, and the Australian National University.

Deborah earned a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan (1990) and is the founding director of The Social Policy Evaluation, Analysis and Research (SPEAR) Centre, has been Associate Director of the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU, and is a former co-editor of the Journal of Population Economics. She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Deborahs research agenda centres on the effect of social policy on labour market outcomes including immigration, sexual and racial harassment, health, old-age support, education and youth transitions. In particular, she is currently leading the innovative Youth in Focus Project which is analysing the pathways through which social and economic disadvantage is transmitted from parents to children in Australia. She has published more than four dozen academic articles in leading international journals such as American Economic Review, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, and Labour Economics.

Deborah has been a Research Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA) since 2000.

Deborah is the Hub Coordinator for the Australian Hub of the Princeton Global Network on Child Migration

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Selected Publications / Papers

2014 and Forthcoming

Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies (with Marco Caliendo and Arne Uhlendorff) Review of Economics and Statistics,

Fathers and Youths’ Delinquent Behavior (with Erdal Tekin) Review of Economics of the Household. 12 (2) (2014): 327-358.

Healthy Habits: The Connection between Diet, Exercise, and Locus of Control.(with Sonja Kassenbohmer and Stefanie Schurer) Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 98 (February) (2014): 1-28.

Parents’ economic support of young-adult children: do socioeconomic circumstances matter? (with Tue Gorgens). Journal of Population Economics. 27 (2) (2014): 447-471.


Two Economists’ Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control (with Stefanie Schurer) The Economic Journal. 123 (570) (2013): F358-F400.

Do Psychosocial Skills Help Explain Gender Segregation in Young People’s Occupations? (with Heather Antecol), Labour Economics, 21 (April) (2013): 59 - 73.

Emigration and the Age Profile of Retirement Among Immigrants (with Steve Stillman) IZA Journal of Migration, 2013, 2:20.


Nativity Differences in the Intergenerational Correlation in Education: The Role of Education Expectations (with Trong-Ha Nguyen) Economic Record, Vol. 88(283), December (2012), pp. 554 - 575.

Financial Stress, Family Conflict, and Australian Youths’ Transitions from Home and School (with David Ribar), Review of Economics of the Household, Vol. 11(4), December (2012), pp. 469 – 490.

Taking Chances: The Effect of Growing Up on Welfare on the Risky Behavior of Young People (with Chris Ryan and Ana Sartbayeva), Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 114(30), September (2012), pp. 729-755.

Immigration and Status Exchange in Australia and the United States (with Kate Choi, Marta Tienda, and Mathias Sinning), Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Vol. 30(1), March (2012), pp. 49 - 62.

The Stability of Big-Five Personality Traits (with Stefanie Schurer) Economic Letters, Vol. 115 (1), April (2012), pp. 11 - 15.

Migrant Youths’ Educational Achievement: The Role of Institutions (with Mathias Sinning and Steve Stillman), Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Volume 643 (1), September (2012), pp. 18 - 45,


Neighborhood Diversity and the Price Appreciation of Native- and Immigrant-Owned Homes (with Mathias Sinning), Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 41 (3), May pp. 214–226.

Noncognitive Skills, Occupational Attainment, and Relative Wages (with Michelle Tan), Labour Economics, Vol. 18(1), pp. 1-13.

A Comparative Analysis of the Nativity Wealth Gap (with Thomas K. Bauer, Vincent Hildebrand, and Mathias Sinning), Economic Inquiry, Vol. 49(4), pp. 989 - 1007.

Portfolio Allocation in the Face of a Means-Tested Public Pension (with Vincent Hildebrand) Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 57(3), pp. 536 - 560.

Disadvantage Across the Generations: What Do We Know about Social and Economic Mobility in Australia? Economic Record, Vol. 86(S1), September, pp. 13 – 17.

Occupational Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap in Private- and Public-Sector Employment: A Distributional Analysis (with Juan D. Baron), Economic Record, Vol. 86 (273), June, pp. 227-246.

The Effect of Community-Level Socio-Economic Conditions on Threatening Racial Encounters (with Heather Antecol), Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 40 (6), pp. 517 – 529.

Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Remain in the Military (with Heather Antecol) Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 22(3), July, pp. 713-738.

The Asset Portfolios of Native-born and Foreign-born Households (with Vincent Hildebrand), Economic Record, Vol. 85(268), March, pp. 46-59.

The Retirement Expectations of Middle-Aged Australians (with Steven Stillman) Economic Record, Vol. 85(269), June, pp. 146-163.

Gender-Biased Behavior at Work: What Can Surveys Tell Us About the Link Between Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination? (with Heather Antecol and Vanessa Barcus), Journal of Economic Psychology, Vol. 30(5), October, pp. 782-792.

Does the Effect of Incentive Payments on Survey Response Rates Differ by Income Support History? (with Juan D. Barn, Robert Breunig, Tue Grgens and Anastasia Sartbayeva), Journal of Official Statistics, Vol. 25(4), pp. 483-507.

Identity and Racial Harassment (with Heather Antecol), Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 66 (3-4), June, pp. 529-557.

Do Coresidency and Financial Transfers from the Children Reduce the Need for Elderly Parents to Work in Developing Countries? (with Lisa Cameron), Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 21(4), October, pp. 10071033.

Leaving Home: What Economics Has to Say about the Living Arrangements of Young Australians, Australian Economic Review, Vol. 41(2), June, pp. 160-176.

Improving the Modeling of Couples Labour Supply (with Robert Breunig and Xiadong Gong) Economic Record, Vol. 84(267), December, pp. 466-485.

Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Local Consumer Markets: Exploiting the Armys Procedures for Matching Personnel to Duty Locations (with Heather Antecol), Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 64(2), September, pp. 496-509.