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Mckinnish, Terra G

Stanford Calderwood Endowed Professor of Economics


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • My primary fields are labor economics and economic demography and my main research focus is the empirical investigation of issues related to poverty and family structure. A central goal of my research is to inform our understanding of how individuals make important decisions that affect their standard of living, such as those concerning work, schooling, marriage and divorce, childbearing, migration and participation in government welfare programs. I am particularly interested in how these decisions are affected by the economic environment and by government policies. Research topics have included: how shocks to demand for low-skilled workers affect education, marriage, work and welfare participation, the effect of welfare programs on migration decisions, determinants of divorce, migration decisions of dual-earner couples, migration flows in and out of gentrifying neighborhoods.


  • labor market outcomes, education, earnings, welfare programs, couple migration, dual-earner couples, divorce, marriage, neighborhood evolution, gentrification


selected publications


courses taught

  • ARSC 5040 - Arts and Sciences Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021
    Same as ARSC 4040. May be repeated up to 3 total credit hours.
  • ECON 4309 - Economics Honors Seminar 1
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2023
    For information consult the department's director of honors. Open only to qualified seniors.
  • ECON 4339 - Economics Honors Seminar 2
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Spring 2024
    For information consult the department's director of honors. This course does not count toward major requirements.
  • ECON 4848 - Applied Econometrics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2022 / Fall 2023
    Introduces students to the practice of applied regression analysis. Summarizes and reviews the regression technique, explores U.S. census data sources, introduces an advanced statistical software package and provides structured exercises in regression analysis of census data. Concludes with independent research projects analyzing social and economic issues using regression analysis and census data.
  • ECON 8209 - Economics Research Methods Workshop 1
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
    Assists students starting their doctoral thesis by discussing methodology and evaluation of economic research. Presents and discusses student research proposals.


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