About me

Professor of Economics | School of Economics | University of Sydney

I am a human development economist. In the last decade, I have produced a program of research on lifecycle dynamics of non-cognitive skills, health and economic preferences. In recent years, I have shifted my focus of attention on the question of whether and how public policy affects human development, household wellbeing and inequality. I am particularly interested in paternalistic public policies which override personal choice to avoid the negative externalities of alleged problem behaviours. I use linked administrative, cohort and longitudinal survey data, in combination with solid causal identification strategies (where possible) in my research studies. 

We have evaluated Income Management, the cornerstone policy of the Northern Territory Emergency Response:

Doyle, M.A., Schurer, S., Silburn, S. (2022). Unintended consequences of welfare reform: evidence from birth outcomes of Aboriginal Australians. Journal of Health Economics 84, July 2022, 102618 [EALE 2019 Best Poster Award, September 2019, Uppsala]. 

Cobb-Clark, D., Kettlewell, N., Schurer, S., Silburn, S. (2023) The effect of quarantining welfare on school attendance in Indigenous communities. The Journal of Human Resources 58(6), 2072-2110.

We also have evaluated the impact of hard & long lockdowns, a central component of Victoria's Zero-Covid Strategy to curb growing Covid-19 infection rates, on the welfare of households:

Schurer, S., Atalay, K., Glozier, N., Vera-Toscano, E., Wooden, M. (2023). Quantifying the human impact of Melbourne's 111-day hard lockdown experiment on the adult population. Nature (Human Behaviour). 7, 1652-1666. USyd Press Release: LINK.

Butterworth, P., Schurer, S., Trong-Ahn, T., Vera-Toscano. E., Wooden, M. (2022). The effect of lockdowns on mental health: evidence from a natural experiment analysing an Australian longitudinal probability sample survey. The Lancet (Public Health). Volume 7, Issue 5, May 2022, Pages e427-e436.  

I am currently working on a range of topics concerning the impact of paternalistic public policy on the wellbeing of Indigenous children & communities, including the impacts of out-of-home care, alcohol restrictions, care at birth & forced removal. Contact me directly if you want to engage with my research team & topics. Em: stefanie.schurer@sydney.edu.au

My program of research is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the MRFF, ANROWS, the James Martin Institute for Public Policy, and the NSW Government Communities & Justice. I am an Associate Editor of the European Economic Review, a member of the National Economic Panel of the Economic Society of Australia, and a board member and secretary of the Association for Economic Research of Indigenous Peoples

In 2021, I received the Australian Young Economist of the Year Award (Economic Society of Australia) and Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence (Outstanding Teaching & Research at the University of Sydney).

Links to my CV, email, IZA DP & HCEO DP, Google Scholar Citations. Recent public appearances: The Conversation Vox.eu The New Daily Campus Review HCEO Network ABC National Radio OECD Forum Network.