Full Disclosure: My Partner, The Labor Economist

I’ve been writing a bit recently about labor issues, and about topics which touch on administration policy.  And my better half, Betsey Stevenson, is currently serving in the administration as Chief Economist at the Department of Labor.  So I realized that a disclosure about all of this is probably in order.  Rather than mindlessly re-type this disclosure every time I write about anything where there’s any possibility of a conflict, I thought I would outline it all here, now, and just link to this in the future.

So here goes.  My partner, Betsey Stevenson is currently serving in a political appointment as Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor.  Betsey isn’t just my better half, she’s also my colleague, coauthor, and co-parent.  Yes, we co- a lot of things.  But we don’t co-blog.  (OK, careful readers will note that we have co-blogged in the past, but when we do, it is with explicit attribution.)  So when I’m writing here (or elsewhere), I’m writing as me—a freewheeling academic economist with all sorts of views about all sorts of things.  I’m not interested in re-hashing administration talking points, and I will (and have) criticize them freely.  But to be clear: These are my views as an economist, and a citizen of the world, and unless otherwise stated, I’m not speaking for any broader group, nor reflecting any privileged access to confidential information.  Now I will admit, I’m terribly proud of Betsey, so I will write about her exploits more than I write about most other economists.  It just so happens that I find the woman referred to as the “hippest-economist-ever” particularly interesting.

caleb b

Justin, I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your participation in this blog. I particularly enjoy your work on marriage. I became curious as to why you were partnered, and not married, and I am guessing that quite a few other readers are also curious (I looked it up). You may, or may not, find it too personal, but I think that you should occasionally post a link to the discussion on the topic as it would satisfy the curiosity at least a few readers. Just a suggestion.

That being said, I can understand that it must be annoying to constantly explain something like that.


Ohh - ok. Well this is a welcome and illuminating disclosure. This women is of course THE same Betsy Stevenson - Economist from Wharton who wrote a few years ago about "Are Women Happy?" - and that made a splash in the popular press. Now, that lends some context to one of your chapters in your 1st Freakonomics book that dealt with Roe vs Wade and juvenile crime! An interesting but I think a ultimately specious causality. So, let me guess - both of you vote Democrat also?