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

  • Economics of education
  • Economic demography
  • Labor economics


  • 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 lie in both labor economics and demography.   Recent work focuses on determinants of long-term cohabiting and marital unions; determinants of divorce; assortative mating on personality traits; effects of body weight on union formation and economic outcomes; employer learning about cognitive and noncognitive skills; time to college completion; degree effects; and determinants of early-career job mobility.


Light has been part of the National Longitudinal Surveys contract team since joining Ohio State, and has served as Principal Investigator for the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth since 2005.  She is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Human Resource Research and the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State, and is a senior fellow of the China Center for Human Capital and Labor Market Research in Beijing.  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 an undergraduate course in principles of microeconomics.