Rossin-Slater wins AEA prize for women economists

Stanford economist Maya Rossin-Slater has won the American Economic Association’s Elaine Bennett Research Prize for 2023.

She received the award for her research examining the impacts of public policies and other factors on family and children.

Much of Rossin-Slater’s work has focused on understanding factors that can improve the outcomes of disadvantaged populations and reduce socioeconomic inequalities and health disparities.

Rossin-Slater was an author of a landmark study featured in The New York Times in February 2023, which documented substantial disparities in infant and maternal health by income and race, and found that the wealthiest Black mothers and their babies have worse outcomes than their poorer white counterparts.

In other research, the economist found that exposure to assault during pregnancy adversely affects infant health, pointing to an important intergenerational harm caused by domestic violence.

The AEA’s committee on the status of women in the economics profession began awarding the Elaine Bennett Research Prize annually in 1988 in memory of Elaine Benett, who made significant contributions to economic theory and experimental economics and mentored many women economists at the start of their careers.

Commenting on the award, Rossin-Slater said: “I greatly admire all of the past winners and feel totally stunned to find myself in this remarkable company. The prize, of course, is also a testament to all of the work of my many co-authors, students, and predoctoral research fellows, and I am deeply indebted to my mentors and colleagues who nominated me and have supported me for many years.”

In an award citation, the AEA wrote: “[Rossin-Slater’s] research addresses questions of critical policy importance with clever research designs and novel identification strategies, careful econometric work using high-quality administrative data, and analysis grounded in economic theory.”

Last year’s winner of the Bennett prize was Rebecca Diamond, who is a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and a professor of economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business.