I’m looking forward to getting deep into the challenges and influences that affect people’s development – from early childhood through to adulthood; how they develop the skills that help them cope (or not) with life, not just intellectually, but in environments like school, their community, and at work – and at what point intervention would be most effective at breaking or preventing cycles of disadvantage.

Deborah Cobb-Clark is Professor of Economics at the University of Sydney. She leads the Human Capabilities Program in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course and is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Deborah earned a PhD in Economics from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, she was the Ronald Henderson Professor and Director of the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne. She has also held positions at the US Labor Department, Illinois State University, and the Australian National University where she was the founding director of The Social Policy Evaluation, Analysis and Research (SPEAR) Centre.

Her research agenda centres on the effect of social policy on labour market outcomes including immigration, sexual and racial harassment, health, old-age support, and education and youth transitions. She has published in leading international journals and is a former co-editor of the Journal of Population Economics.

Key Information


Deputy Director | Chief Investigator


PhD (U Michigan)

University Affiliation:

University of Sydney

Primary Organization:

The University of Sydney

LCC Programs:

Human Capabilities