Deborah J. Lucas


Deborah J. Lucas


Deborah Lucas is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Finance at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Golub Center for Finance and Policy.

Her recent research has focused on measuring and accounting for the costs and risks of government financial obligations. Her academic publications cover a wide range of topics including the effect of idiosyncratic risk on asset prices and portfolio choice, dynamic models of corporate finance, financial institutions, monetary economics, and valuation of government guarantees. An expert on federal credit programs, Lucas has testified before Congress on budgeting for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, student loans, and on strategically important financial institutions. 

Previous appointments include assistant and associate director at the Congressional Budget Office; Donald C. Clark Professor of Finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; chief economist at the Congressional Budget Office; senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisers; and member of two Social Security Technical Advisory Panels. Lucas also has served as a director on several corporate and non-profit boards.

She is on the editorial board of the Annual Review of Financial Economics, a coeditor of AEA-Policy, and a co-organizer of the group Capital Markets and the Economy at the NBER. Lucas is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, a research associate of the NBER, a member of the Advisory Roundtable of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a member of the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee, a member of the Shadow Open Market Committee, and a member of the Academic Research Council for the Urban Institute Housing Finance Policy Center.

Lucas received her BA, MA, and a PhD in economics, all from the University of Chicago.

Current Research Focus:  Lucas’s current research lies at the intersection of finance and policy, with a focus on economically meaningful cost measurement of government financial activities. Some current projects include creating a world atlas of government financial institutions, measuring the subsidies and risks associated with development banks, and analyzing reverse mortgages.



"Inventory of Support for Fossil Fuels—Estimating the Support Component of Loan Guarantees and Preferential Loans."

Lucas, Deborah J., MIT Sloan Working Paper 5400-17. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, December 2017.

"Towards Fair Value Accounting for Public Pensions: The Case for Delinking Disclosure and Funding Requirements."

Lucas, Deborah J., MIT Sloan Working Paper 5399-17. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, October 2017.

"Fiscal Consequences of the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet."

Lucas, Deborah J., MIT Sloan Working Paper 5402-17. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, September 2017.

"Valuing the GSEs’ Government Support."

Lucas, Deborah J., MIT Sloan Working Paper 5403-17. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, May 2017.

"Credit Policy as Fiscal Policy."

Lucas, Deborah J. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (2016): 1-41. Download Appendix.

"​Hacking Reverse Mortgages."

Lucas, Deborah J., MIT Sloan Working Paper 5401-15. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, October 2015.

Load More

Recent Insights

Ideas Made to Matter

How effective are post-financial crisis bank regulations?

Bankers and regulatory experts weigh in on what's working and what isn't.

Read Article
Ideas Made to Matter

For Master of Finance grads, five traits for career and life

At a convocation ceremony, distilling MIT lessons and remembering Professor Stephen Ross.

Read Article
Load More