Martha J. Bailey

I am a Professor in the Department of Economics and affiliate at the California Center for Population Research at the University of California-Los Angeles. I am also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and affiliated with CEPR, CESifo, IZA, and HCEO.

My research focuses on issues in labor economics, demography and health in the United States, within the long-run perspective of economic history. My work has examined the implications of the diffusion of modern contraception for women’s childbearing, career decisions, and the convergence in the gender gap. Recent projects focus on the 1960s, including evaluations of the shorter and longer-term consequences of War on Poverty programs and the labor-market effects of equal pay legislation in the US. I direct the LIFE-M project, which links millions of vital records with census data for the early 20th century U.S.

My work has appeared in the American Economic Review and Quarterly Journal of Economics and been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. I have also won several awards for outstanding teaching, including the 2017 John Dewey Teaching Award at the University of Michigan and the 2022 Berck and Lisa Cheng Award at UCLA.

I serve as an editor at the Journal of Labor Economics and on the editorial board at the American Economic Review.