Dr. Sarah Small is among many scholars who came to CSU’s Department of Economics for our unique courses in heterodox and feminist economics.
In her time here, Dr. Small served as a fellow for Feminist Economics alongside editor Elissa Braunstein, which provided the opportunity to learn about the scholarly publishing process. After taking CSU’s graduate seminar in the history of economic thought, she also completed a year-long visiting research fellowship at Duke University’s Center for the History of Political Economy. Following a year’s worth of research in the Economist Papers Archive, specifically investigating the work of Barbara Bergmann, she cultivated an interest in policy-focused work and accepted a postdoc at Root Policy Research in Denver.
In addition to her research, Dr. Small cultivated a passion for teaching a “socially-conscious approach” to economics while at CSU. Funded by a grant from the Teagle Foundation, she worked alongside fellow Ph.D. student Teresa Perry (Ph.D. Econ, 2022) and Dr. Anders Fremstad to study how the department could make introductory economics courses more inclusive of diverse student populations. She also taught and contributed to the development of undergraduate courses including Gender in the Economy and Economics of Social Issues.
In 2022, Dr. Small is serving as a Postdoctoral Associate at Rutgers University’s Center for Women and Work, focused on paid family leave programs in New Jersey, and this fall she will move west to serve as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Utah. Her current research interests span topics including intrahousehold bargaining, entrepreneurship, the occupational crowding hypothesis, and feminist methodology.
Ph.D. Economics, Colorado State University (2022)
M.A. Economics, Colorado State University (2018)
B.A. Economics, Assumption University (2016)
Dissertation: Three Essays in Feminist Economics: Empirical and Historical Applications
Advisor: Professor Elissa Braunstein
In Her Own Words
What inspired you to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics?
I came into the program knowing I wanted to study intrahousehold bargaining and feminist economics. I was curious about intrahousehold bargaining based on what I’d observed growing up with a mom who did nearly all the childcare and housework while both she and my dad were both working full-time. It was my undergraduate mentor who had introduced me to feminist economics as a discipline, and I then saw an opportunity to combine my interests in economics and in women’s issues. I pursued these interests throughout my time at CSU, which led me to research interactions between housework, income, and entrepreneurship.
Why did you choose CSU for your Ph.D. in Economics?
I knew I wanted to study heterodox economics, and feminist economics specifically. This left just a few programs on the table. I ultimately chose CSU over other programs because of the community. I knew I would be well-mentored here, and I was so impressed with the warmth and kindness from faculty and upper-level graduate students. And Fort Collins is such a special place—I wouldn’t want to have spent 6 years anywhere else.
What has been the best part of your experience as a graduate student at CSU?
For me, the best part has been the mentorship and friendships that have developed in the program. Elissa [Braunstein] has been the best advisor I could’ve asked for: she’s spent so much time and energy making sure I could thrive. And I’ve made some lifelong friends here. I can attribute most of my success to being in a program which is so collegial in nature.