You are here: American University College of Arts & Sciences Economics Program on Gender Analysis in Economics

Program on Gender Analysis in Economics (PGAE)

PGAE is a graduate research and teaching program emphasizing theoretical and empirical economics training in gender analysis. Projects investigate the role of gender in social reproduction, labor markets, finance, and development — centered on the well-being of women and other under-represented groups. PGAE is a leader in producing policy analysts and scholars promoting the greater empowerment of women worldwide.

PGAE's international community supports

  • Graduate degrees built around a core of shared course and including both MA and PhD in Economics with gender tracks and a Graduate Certificate on Gender Analysis in Economics.
  • Projects and partnerships, including the the Hewlett Foundation-funded Care Work and the Economy venture and international affiliations with the University of Peredeniya in Sri Lanka, among other universities in Asia and Latin America to develop curricula for teaching gender analysis in economics in a developing country context.
  • Local and international events, include our Gender Seminar Series and the Pathways to Gender Equality conference.
Five women on discussion panel.

News & Events

Graduate Programs

AU's Program on Gender Analysis in Economics (PGAE) differs from related graduate programs with its gender-focused yet economics-based program:

  • The program takes a global perspective by collaborating with Visiting Scholars and incorporating literature on Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Post-Socialist world and OECD countries.
  • The program has a global perspective, incorporating literature on Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Post-Socialist world as well as OECD countries.
  • Our location in Washington, DC, provides unique opportunities for internships and part-time work leading to full-time employment and careers with public and private institutions in the Washington area and beyond.

Degrees Offered

Students in either the MA or PhD program can do a track in Gender Analysis. Students who already have at least an MA in Economics can apply to do a Certificate in Gender Analysis in Economics. Students in each of these three options study together in two common core courses Gender Perspectives on Economics: Microeconomics and Gender Perspectives on Economics: Macroeconomics.

Additionally, PhD students in the PGAE program have the opportunity to serve as RAs on PGAE projects including the Care Economy and Gender-Sensitive Macroeconomic Modeling for Policy Analysis Project research team, which consists of 30 researchers from around the world.

Visiting Scholars at the 2019 IAFFE Conference

Visiting Scholars Shobana Rajendran, Samanmala Dorabavilla, Otgo Banzragch and PGAE Graduate Students Catherine Hensly and Hannah Randolph at the 2019 IAFFE Conference

Projects & Research

Gender Working Group

The PGAE is led by co-directors Dr. Mieke Meurs and Dr. Jessica Leight, guided by the Gender Work Group (GWG), comprising department faculty, resident scholars, and graduate students. GWG members have strong relations with a variety of relevant organizations, including the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE), the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and Vital Voices; the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Merck KGaA and other American University entities with a focus on women, including the AU Women in Politics Center and the Washington College of Law.


The Care Work and the Economy project, funded by the Hewlett Foundation and supported by the Open Society Foundations, works to better understand, capture, and model women and men's contributions to care provisioning (for children, the sick and disabled, and the elderly) in order to promote gender-aware economic and social policies that foster inclusive growth and gender equality. Project research and activities are funded by the Hewlett Foundation and supported by the Open Society Foundations’ Women’s Rights Program.

Partnerships to Develop Gender Analysis in Economics Curricula and Programs

With generous support from the Open Society Foundation, the PGAE has partnered with faculty from University of Peredeniya in Sri Lanka and a number of other universities in Asia and Latin America to develop curricula for teaching gender analysis in economics in a developing country context. With our partner institutions, we are working to ensure a supply of well-trained analysts to assist policy makers and advocacy groups in promoting gender equity worldwide.

Pathways to Gender Equality Conference

The Pathways to Gender Equality Conference illuminated how academics, policy makers, and advocacy groups can use tools of gender analysis to understand today’s major social and economic challenges.

Eschelbach Hansen, Mary, Michael E. Martell, and Leanne Roncolato (2019). "A labor of love: The impact of same-sex marriage on labor supply." Review of Economics of the Household 1-19.

Floro, Maria, Mahmud Yesuf, and Trufat Woldesenbet. (2019)."Gender and Perception of Climate Change in Ethiopia." The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses 11 (2): 21-39. doi:10.18848/1835-7156/CGP/v11i02/21-39.

Meurs, Mieke and Rita Ismaylov (2019). Improving Assessments of Gender Bargaining Power: A Case Study from Bangladesh, Feminist Economics 25(1).

Mary Eschelbach Hansen (with Erin E. George and Julie Lyn Routzahn), "Debt Tolerance, Gender, and the Great Recession," Journal of Consumer Affairs, 2018.

Floro, M. S., Bruyere, C., Fengdan, S., Xuhua, P. (2016). Bargaining Power and the Household Division of Labor by Gender: Evidence from the China Time Use Survey. Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 31(1), 63-86.

Natalia Radchenko (with Pierre-Andre Chiappori and Bernard Salanie), "Divorce and the duality of marital payoff," Review of Economics of the Household.

Floro, M. S., Willoughby, J. A. (2016). Feminist Economics and The Global Economy: The Challenges that Awaits Us. The Fletcher Forum for World Affairs, 40(2), 5-17.

Mary Eschelbach Hansen (with Michelle McKinnon Miller), "A New View of Women in Bankruptcy: Evidence from Maryland Since 1940," American Bankruptcy Institute Journal 34, November 2016.

Floro, M. S., Terbish, M. (2016). How does the Presence of Infrastructure (or lack thereof) Affect Time Use in Mongolia? Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 30(1), 43-62.

Floro, M. S., Yokying, P., Sangaroon, B., Tassanee Sushevagul, T. (2016). Understanding Work-Life Balance Situation of Women and Men in Thailand: Through the Lens of Time-Use Data. Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 31(1), 87-107.


  • Professor Maria Floro directs that Care Work and the Economy Project which strives to illuminate and properly valuing the economic and social contributions of caregivers and integrate care in macroeconomic analysis.
  • Professor Mary Hansen is an expert in US social policy. Her recent publications on gender issues include an analysis on women and bankruptcy in the US in the 1940s and labor market outcomes and self-identity for lesbian workers in the US (with Michael Martell).
  • Assistant Professor Kelly Jones is an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on evaluating the impacts of economic policies and interventions on gender equality and welfare in both the US and developing countries.
  • Professor Mieke Meurs has published extensively on household behavior, and with particular focus on gender issues and rural households. Recent projects include time use and bargaining in herding households in Mongolia and land holding and management in Tanzania.
  • Associate Professor Natalia Radchenko is an applied econometrician. Her work includes development of new concepts of intrahousehold inequality and empirical methodologies to better measure inequality, as well as analysis of labor market outcomes in developing countries.
  • Assistant Professor Mahmud Yesuf’s research interests include poverty, environment and development issues in low income countries. Recent research examines the role of gender in adaptation to climate change among developing country households.
  • Professor John Willoughby’s fields of interest include economic history and the economics of the Middle East. Recent publications focus on higher education in the Gulf states.

Visiting Scholars

Lekha S. Chakraborty is a Professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), an autonomous research institute of the Ministry of Finance of India; and an affiliated Research Associate with the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, New York. She was the pioneer economist who worked with the Chief Economic Advisor for institutionalising Gender Budgeting in India.She is the author of Fiscal Consolidation, Budget deficits and Macroeceonomy (Sage, 2016) and a co-author of Social Sector in Decentralised Economy: India in the Era of Globalisation (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Previously, Lekha has worked for the World Bank, the IMF, UN Women, and the Commonwealth Secretariat. She has taught as a Visiting Professor at Carleton University (Canada), Uppsala University (Sweden) and University of Utah.


As a PGAE Visiting Scholar, Lekha is advancing her empirical research investigating the integration of gender perspectives into fiscal and public policy making and was a featured speaker of the Spring 2019 Gender Seminar Series in AU. 


Otgontugs Banzragch (Otgo) is the Dean of Graduate School and Professor of Economics at the National University of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. She has a Ph.D. in Education and Economics from Colombia University and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Manchester. Her research focuses on development economics, education inequality, and rural development. She is a member of the Monetary Policy Board of the Central Bank of Mongolia; and a member of the Research Council for Social Science with the Ministry of Education and Science in Mongolia. Previously, she collaborated with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) on the project Mobilizing Revenues from Extractive Industries: Protecting and Promoting Children’s Rights and Well-Being in Resource-Rich Countries, as part of the research team for Mongolia.

As a Visiting Scholar, Otgo developed the curriculum for a course Gender Analysis in Economics, to be offered as part of the masters program for Economics at the National University of Mongolia. She also began a project that aims to translate a textbook on the importance of gender analysis in economics into Mongolian language. Currently, Otgo is working on a joint research project with Professor Mieke Meurs and Amarjargal Amartuvshin (PGAE Visiting Scholar 2013) on bargaining in herding households.


Samanmala Dorabawila is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. She has a Ph.D. in Economics from Clark University. Her research includes analyses of Sri Lankan’s labor market, care work, health economics, and development economics.

As a PGAE Visiting Scholar, Samanmala worked to develop curricula course on Gender Analysis in Macroeconomics and Gender Analysis in Microeconomics to be offered for students enrolled in Masters in Economics (MA)/M.Phil in Economics/Masters in Applied Economics and Masters in Development Practice, through the Post Graduate Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (PGIHS) at the University of Peradeniya.

Yady Marcela Barrero Amórtegui has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of La Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia; and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Antioquia in Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia. She has authored multiple research papers analyzing Colombia’s agricultural structures, including her doctoral research focusing on gender analysis and the sustainable use of natural resources.

As a PGAE Visiting Scholar, Yady developed a course curriculum on Gender Roles in the Economy, to be presented to the Department of Economics at the University of Antioquia in Medellín, where she will be joining as a Professor of Economics.

Nata Duvvury is Senior Lecturer and Co-Director at the Center for Global Women’s Studies and Leader of Gender and Public Policy Cluster in the Whitaker Institute at National University of Ireland, Galway. Dr. Nata Duvvury is an international development expert with more than 25 years of experience in gender, development and empowerment. Her work includes research and advocacy on gender based violence, women’s property rights and HIV and AIDS in a variety of settings including conflict and post-conflict contexts.  

Nata Duvvury visited as a PGAE Fulbright Scholar in 2014 to work on empirical measures of violence against women. Currently, Nata Duvvury is Principal Investigator of a 3-year project examining the economic and social costs of Violence against women and girls (VAWG) that involves surveys and interviews in Sudan, Pakistan and Ghana. Also serving on the Technical Advisory Group of the project is PGAE founding co-director Maria Floro.

Margarita Khegai is a Professor of Economics at the Tajikistan Russian-Tajik Slavic University.

Maigul was a PGAE Visiting Scholar from the Tajikistan Russian-Tajik Slavic University from 2011 – 2012, supported by the Core Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program. As a Visiting Scholar, Margarita investigated gender issues in Tajikistan’s labor market focusing on state policies, legal framework, civil society and traditions.


Dileni Gunewardena is Professor of Economics at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and has a Ph.D. in economics is from American University. Her research includes empirical analyses of poverty, child nutrition, and gender and ethnic wage inequality. She is the author of a book on Poverty Measurement, several chapters in books, and numerous journal articles. She contributed to Sri Lanka’s first poverty assessment as a consultant with the World Bank’s Development Economics Research Group in the 1990s and has taught in the World Bank Institute’s South Asia Region Workshops.

As a PGAE Visiting Scholar, Dileni produced a research paper, along with co-authors Elizabeth King (The Brookings Institution) and Alexandra Valerio (World Bank), on the gender differences in labor market returns to schooling and skills in middle income countries. Currently, she is also leading the efforts in establishing a Gender Analysis in Economics program at the Post Graduate Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences (PGIHS) of the University of Peradeniya.


Ana María Tribín-Uribe is a Researcher at the Central Bank of Colombia – Banco de la Republica. She has a Ph.D. in Economics from Brown University and a Master’s Degree in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia). Her research focuses on gender economics, development economics, development, political economy, labor economics and behavioral economics. She is the author of several studies related to gender and economics, including her research examining the impact of Colombia’s maternity leave policy on female labor force participation.

As a PGAE Visiting Scholar, Ana María advanced her historical book project on women in Colombia and continues to work with Professors Maria Floro and Mieke Meurs in undertaking a project that aims to develop priority areas for lawmakers in developing public policies. Recently, Ana María was appointed the President’s High Commissioner for Women’s Equality in Colombia.

Amartuvshin Amarjargal is a Professor at the University of the Humanities. She received her PhD in Economics from Kobe University and conducted part of her postdoctoral research as a PGAE Visiting Scholar, supported by the Open Society Institute Global Development Scholar Program.

Amartuvshin returned as a PGAE Visiting Scholar in the Summer of 2016, after which she published an article—along with Otgontugs Banzragch and Mieke Meurs—examining the extent and type of herders' engagement with markets for livestock and livestock products, and factors associated with higher earnings from livestock.

Maigul Nugmanova is a Lecturer of Economics at the Kazakh National Agrarian University and the Head of International Office - Kazakh Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages

Maigul Nugmanova was a PGAE Visiting Scholar from the Kazakhstan National Agrarian University from 2012 – 2013, supported by the Core Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program. Her work focused on the interactions between gender equality and human-centered sustainable development in Kazakhstan. Following her visit, Professor Maria Floro visited the Kazakh National Agrarian University as a visiting Professor during the summer of 2013.

Marit Widman, currently at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, completed her dissertation on gender and land rights as a visiting PhD student with the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics (PGAE). She received her PhD in Economics from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in 2015.

Fred and Barbara Bergmann Fund

The Fred and Barbara Bergmann award is given to a promising graduate student to support gender research in economics. To donate to the fund, please visit our donation webpage and write in “The Fred and Barbara Bergmann Fund” or contact department chair Dr. Mieke Meurs at