Christina Paxson

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]

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 60)
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

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] which is a Jewish Reconstructionist synagogue, committed to the growth of a spiritually and intellectually engaging Judaism.[16]

As President of Brown University, Paxson has focused on cultivating entrepreneurship and collaboration between the students and faculty. Under her leadership, the University has also opened a new School of Public Health, launched the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, and is in connection with the Watson Institute for Public and International Affairs. She has also sustained undergraduate financial aid as the fastest growing area of Brown's budget, by increasing scholarships for low income families.[17]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • “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.
  • "Causes and Consequences of Early Life Health" (with Anne Case) Demography 47(1): S65-S85, March 2010.
  • "The Long Reach of Childhood Health and Circumstance: Evidence from the Whitehall II Study" (with Anne Case), Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society 121(554): F183-F204, 2008.
  • "The Impact of the AIDS Pandemic on Health Services in Africa: Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys" (With Anne Case), Demography 48(2): 675-697, May 2009.
  • "Making Sense of the Labor Market Height Premium: Evidence From the British Household Panel Survey" (With Anne Case and Mahnaz Islam), Economics Letters 102(3): 174-176, March 2008.
  • "The Income Gradient in Children's Health: A Comment on Currie, Shields and Wheatley Price" (With Anne Case & Diana Lee), Journal of Health Economics 27(3), 801-807, October 2007
  • "Socioeconomic Status and Health in Childhood: A Comment on Chen, Martin and Matthews" (With Anne Case & Tom Vogl), Social Science & Medicine, 189-214
  • "From Cradle to Grave? The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance" (With Anne Case & Angela Fertig), Journal of Health Economics 24(2), 365-389.


  1. ^ a b c "Biography – Office of the President". Brown University. Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  2. ^ Lewin, Tamar (March 2, 2012). "Christina Hull Paxson Chosen as President of Brown". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  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 (March 5, 2012). "'People person' leaves mark on Princeton". Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  6. ^ "Who is Christina Paxson?". Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  7. ^ "NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health". Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Economic Case for Saving the Humanities". New Republic. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  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 May 1, 2016.
  11. ^ Boston, Federal Reserve Bank of. "Christina Hull Paxson - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston". Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Goldberg, Daniel (January 22, 2019). "Paxson named deputy chair of Boston Fed". Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
  13. ^ "Williams College awards honorary degree to President Paxson". Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  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.
  16. ^ "Congregation Kol Emet". Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "President Christina Hull Paxson | Office of the President | Brown University". Retrieved April 15, 2019.

External linksEdit

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