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Audrey Light

Audrey Light

Audrey Light




1945 N. High St. 443A Arps Hall
1945 N. High St.
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Labor Economics
  • Economics of Education
  • Economic Demography


  • University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D. (Economics), 1987
  • University of California, Los Angeles, M.A. (Economics), 1984
  • University of Chicago, B.A. (Economics), 1982

Audrey Light is a Professor of Economics at Ohio State University, where she has been employed since 1993.  Prior to joining Ohio State, Light taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and held a visiting appointment at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  Her research interests span labor economics, the economics of education, and economic demography. Her current research focuses on three topics: college transfers; labor market payoffs to college credit distributions (including their occupational specificity, STEM-intensity, and concentration within major field); and determinants of wealth. Earlier work focused on the role of grit in the learning process; differences between business ownership and self-employment; employer learning; determinants of long-term cohabiting and marital unions; risk preference as a determinant of divorce; degree effects in the return to schooling; measurement error; and a host of topics related to school enrollment patterns, work experience, and job mobility.

Light was a member of the National Longitudinal Surveys contract team from 1993 to 2015, serving as Principal Investigator for the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth from 2005 to 2015. Her research has been funded by numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Spencer Foundation, American Educational Research Association, Kauffman Foundation, and Bureau of Labor Statistics.  She is a recipient of the H. Gregg Lewis Prize awarded by the Society of Labor Economists.

Light has taught a portion of the graduate labor sequence each year she has been at Ohio State.  She has also taught graduate-level courses in applied econometrics and undergraduate courses in principles of microeconomics and intermediate microeconomics.