Alexandra Bernasek received her undergraduate degree from the University of Sydney in Australia and her graduate degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She joined the Economics Department at CSU in 1992 and has been a Full Professor in the department since 2004.  She is a feminist economist who's work covers a range of topics, all with a focus on gender. She has written self-employment in the U.S., health insurance and employment transitions, household financial decision making, pension investments, risk aversion, the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, women's informal sector work in developing countries, and maternity leave in developing countries. Her work has been published in Economic Inquiry, The Southern Economic Journal, the Journal of Economic Issues, Review of Social Economy, Contemporary Economic Policy, and the Social Science Journal, among others.  Her most cited paper is "Are Women More Risk Averse" published with Dr. Nancy Jianakoplos.

Alex has taught a wide range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Currently at the undergraduate level she teaches Principles of Microeconomics, History of Economic Thought, Economic Development, Senior Seminar and Gender in the Economy.  At the graduate level she teaches History of Economic Thought, Microeconomic Development, and a graduate seminar in Feminist Economics. She has been the advisor for numerous MA and PhD students.

Alex is a frequent presenter on panels and public forums, speaking on topics such as the minimum wage, student loan debt, and gender pay equity.

For many years Alex was a department and college representative on Faculty Council, she was a member of Faculty Council Executive Committee and was the faculty representative to the Board of Governors of the CSU System.

Alex has previously held administrative positions as Senior Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in CLA, Associate Provost for Special Projects, and Graduate Coordinator and Interim Chair in the Department of Economics.


Recent publications include:

"Tort Reforms and the Gender Distribution of Physicians" (with Cher Li),  forthcoming in the Eastern Economic Journal, 2018.

“Health Care Handcuffs? Job Lock in Rural versus Urban Labor Markets” (with David  Mushinski and Stephan Weiler) Growth and Change.  Vol. 45 No. 2.  2014.

“Decomposing Racial Differences in Credit Rationing of Small Businesses: Evidence of Discrimination” (with Nara Mijid)  Review of Social Economy, Vol 71, Issue 4, December 2013: 443-473.

“Gender and the Credit Rationing of Small Businesses” (with Naranchimeg Mijid).  The Social Science Journal, October 2012 (on-line) 10.1016/j.soscij.2012.09.002.  Elsevier Publishers.

Recent working papers include:

"The Impact of Student Loan Debt on Wages and Wage Growth for Recent College Graduates" (with Melanie Long), 2018.

"Gender, Risk Preferences and the Decision to Become Self-Employed" (with David Mushinski), 2017.

"Student Loan Debt and Employment Outcomes for Recent College Graduates" (with Melanie Long), 2017.


  • Econ 372 – History of Economic Thought and Institutions

  • Econ 460 – Economic Development

  • Econ 760 – Microeconomics of Development

  • ECON 202H — Principles of Microeconomics (Honors)