Christina Paxson

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Christina Paxson
Christina paxson.jpg
19th President of Brown University
Assumed office
July 1, 2012 (2012-07-01)
Preceded byRuth Simmons
Personal details
Born (1960-02-06) February 6, 1960 (age 59)
Spouse(s)Ari Gabinet
ChildrenNicholas Gabinet
Benjamin Gabinet
ResidenceProvidence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Alma materSwarthmore College
Columbia University
WebsiteOffice of the President of Brown University

Christina Hull Paxson (born February 6, 1960) is an economist, public health expert, and the current President of Brown University. Previously, she was the Hughes Rogers Professor of Economics & Public Affairs at Princeton University as well as the Dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.[1][2]

In March 2012 Paxson was elected the 19th president of Brown University. She officially succeeded Ruth Simmons on July 1, 2012[3] and was inaugurated on October 27, 2012.[4]


After spending her childhood in Forest Hills, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Paxson received her B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1982, where she majored in Economics, and minored in English and Philosophy.[5] Originally a graduate student at Columbia University's Business School, Paxson transferred to Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, receiving her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics, in 1985 and 1987, respectively, with a focus on labor.[1][6] In 2000, she founded the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton, an interdisciplinary research center based in the Woodrow Wilson School. She served as the chairman of Princeton’s Economics Department in academic year 2008–09. She was also the founding director of an NIA Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging at Princeton.[1] During her time at Princeton, Paxson also served as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.[7]

Paxson's most recent research focuses on the impact of childhood health and circumstances on economic and health outcomes over the lifecourse; the impact of the AIDS crisis on children's health and education in Africa; and the long run consequences of Hurricane Katrina on the mental and physical health of vulnerable populations. Paxson has been a Senior Editor of The Future of Children, an interdisciplinary journal that works to build a bridge between cutting edge social science research and the policy community.

In 2013, Paxson wrote a New Republic op-ed, arguing for ongoing relevance of the humanities from an economist's perspective.[8]

Paxson has also maintained numerous institutional affiliations: in addition to being a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017.[9][10] The previous year, she became a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and in 2019 was named deputy chair of that organization.[11][12] In 2018, Paxson received an honorary doctorate from Williams College.[13]

She has been a member of the Kol Emet congregation.[14][15]

Selected publications[edit]

  • “Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes” (with Anne Case), Journal of Political Economy, 116(3): 499–532, June 2008.
  • “Racial Disparities in Childhood Asthma in the US: Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey, 1997–2003” (with Marla McDaniel and Jane Waldfogel), Pediatrics 117(5): e868-e877, May 2006.
  • “Orphans in Africa: Parental Death, Poverty and School Enrollment” (with Anne Case and Joseph Ableidinger), Demography 41(3), pp. 483–508, August 2004.
  • “Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient” (with Anne Case and Darren Lubotsky), American Economic Review 92(5), December 2002.
  • “Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food” (with Angus Deaton), Journal of Political Economy 106(5): 897–930, October 1998.
  • “Intertemporal Choice and Inequality” (with Angus Deaton), Journal of Political Economy 102(3): 437–467, 1994.
  • “Consumption and Income Seasonality in Thailand,” Journal of Political Economy 101(1): 39–72, February 1993.
  • “Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand,” American Economic Review 82(1), March 1992.


  1. ^ a b c "Biography – Office of the President". Brown University. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  2. ^ Lewin, Tamar (2012-03-02). "Christina Hull Paxson Chosen as President of Brown". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  3. ^ "Economist Christina Hull Paxson elected 19th president of Brown University". Brown University. March 2, 2012. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  4. ^ "The Inauguration of Christina Hull Paxson". Brown University. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Thornton, Lucy Feldman,Sahil Luthra,Kat (2012-03-05). "'People person' leaves mark on Princeton". Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  6. ^ "Who is Christina Paxson?". Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  7. ^ "NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health". Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  8. ^ "The Economic Case for Saving the Humanities". New Republic. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  9. ^ "Brown's president named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences". Brown University. April 11, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
  10. ^ "Membership Roster". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  11. ^ Boston, Federal Reserve Bank of. "Christina Hull Paxson - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston". Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Retrieved 2018-01-17.
  12. ^ Goldberg, Daniel (2019-01-22). "Paxson named deputy chair of Boston Fed". Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  13. ^ "Williams College awards honorary degree to President Paxson". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  14. ^ (PDF). |archive-url= missing title (help). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 2, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  15. ^ (PDF). |archive-url= missing title (help). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 3, 2013. Retrieved November 26, 2013.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Ruth Simmons
President of Brown University
July 1, 2012–present
Preceded by
Anne-Marie Slaughter
Woodrow Wilson School
Princeton University

Succeeded by
Cecilia Rouse