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Mary Eschelbach Hansen Professor Economics

Send email to Mary Eschelbach Hansen
(202) 885-3793 (Office)
CAS - Economics
Kreeger - 127
Fall 2021 office hours: Tuesdays 1-2 pm (in 127 Kreeger or on Zoom) and Wednesdays 1-2:30 pm (Zoom only). Visit to make an appointment. Appointments must be scheduled at least 3 hours in advance.
Additional Positions at AU
Affiliate, CHRS
Affiliate, Dept. of Justice, Law and Criminology
Affiliate, Dept. of Math and Statistics
PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Favorite Spot on Campus
My office!
Mary Eschelbach Hansen is an expert in U.S. social policy. She is widely published in the fields of child policy, bankruptcy, and economic history. Her work addresses key issues in race, gender, and economic inequality. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking. She has been quoted or cited by news outlets including WAMU, The Economist, Fortune, CNN, and the LA Times. She has given public testimony before the DC City Council and in Federal District Court.
See Also
Department of Economics
Mary Hansen's Personal Home Page
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2021

  • ECON-150 Economics for Business

  • HNRS-398 Honors Challenge Course

Fall 2021

  • ECON-619 Economic Hist: Micro Aspects

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications


Bankrupt in America: A History of Consumers, Businesses, their Creditors, and the Law in the Twentieth Century, (with Bradley A. Hansen), University of Chicago Press, 2020.


Supply of Bank Loans and Business Debts: A View from Historical Bankruptcy Cases” (with Dongping Xie), Review of Financial Economics 38, S1(2020): 170-187.

Women, Debt, and Bankruptcy in the United States since 1940,” (with Michelle M. Miller) Essays in Economic and Business History 38, published online March 2020.

New Evidence of Spillovers in Personal Bankruptcy Using Point-Coded Data” (with Jess Grana), Spatial Economic Analysis 14, 4(2019): 446-464.

A Labor of Love: The Impact of Same-sex Marriage on Labor Supply” (with Michael Martell and Leanne Roncolato), Review of Economics of the Household: 265-283.

Consumer Debt Tolerance, Gender, and the Great Recession” (with Erin George and Julie Lyn Routzahn), Journal of Consumer Affairs 52, 3(Fall 2018): 711-732.

The Impact of Political Influence on Appointees: Evidence from the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program” (with Matthew E. Davis and Thomas Husted), Southern Economic Journal 84, 3(January 2018): 771-785.

Adoption Policy and the Well-Being of Adopted Children in the U.S.” (with Ashley J. Provencher and Nicholas E. Kahn), Child Welfare 95, 1(2017): 27-55.

The Standard of Proof in the Substantiation of Child Abuse and Neglect” (with Nicholas Kahn and Josh Gupta-Kagan), Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 14, 2(June 2017), pp. 333-369.

Self-Identity and the Lesbian Earnings Differential in the U.S.” (with Michael E. Martell), Review of Social Economy 75, 2(June 2017), pp. 159-180.

Credit Relationships and Business Bankruptcy during the Great Depression” (with Nicholas L. Ziebarth), AEJ: Macroeconomics 9, 2(April 2017), pp. 228-255.

The Historian’s Craft and Economics” (with Bradley A. Hansen), Journal of Institutional Economics 12, 2(April 2016), pp. 349-370.

Media Appearances

Washington Post, October 19, 2008: “Despite a Tragedy, Adoption Aid Remains Crucial.”

WAMU’s Metro Connection, October 10, 2008: “DC Remembers 1929.”

AARP’s Inside E Street, December 12, 2008: “Jobs Wanted: For Hire,” Segment: “Looking to the Past.”

The Economist, February 25, 2010: “Protecting the Weakest: Recession May Hurt America’s Vulnerable Children.”

Featured by Metro Connection/WAMU, Radio, “Changing Adoption Laws,” December 10, 2010.

Fortune, “Fast food worker strikes: After two years is there anything to show?” September 4, 2014.

CNN, “Is child poverty inevitable?” November 4, 2014.

LA times, “Obama pushes paid sick/family leave for workers,” January 16, 2015., "The Restaurtant Doodle That Launched a Political Movement," May 30, 2017.

WalletHub, "2017's States with the Most Underprivileged Children," August 9, 2017., "The Republican Tax Plan Raises Taxes on Famlies Who Adopt Children," November 3, 2017.

Wall Street Journal, "House Bill Would Strip Adoption Tax Credit," November 7, 2017.

Inside Higher Ed, "Responding to the New Title IX Guidelines," November 28, 2017.

Washington Post, “Leadership at Fed’s Regional Banks Is Getting More Diverse,” March 12, 2018., “Men and Women Have Very Different Relationships with Their Credit Cards,” April 7, 2018., “How Men and Women View Financial Debt,” April 7, 2018., “Why American Women Hold 2/3rds of the Student Debt,” June 11, 2018.

ABC News, “The Big Vote: The Big Issue (Jobs),” October 9, 2018.

The Washington Post, Made by History, “Making It Easier to Declare Bankruptcy Could Avert Economic Catastrophe,” April 24, 2020.


Testimony before the Council of the District of Columbia, Committee on Human Services, Hearing on Extending Adoption and Guardianship Subsidies Until Age 21 and Expanding Guardianship Subsidies to Non-Kin, December 12, 2008, and March 4, 2010.

Testimony before the Federal District Court of Rhode Island re: Cassie M. v. Chaffee, December 9, 2013. See coverage in The Providence Journal, December 10, 2013.


AU Experts

Area of Expertise

Bankruptcy, Child Welfare Policies, Personal Finance, Women and Economics, Minimum Wage

Additional Information

Hansen is widely published in the fields of child welfare policy and economic history. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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