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 measuring the capital subsidies to state-owned enterprises, analyzing the risk-sharing potential of collective defined contribution plans, creating a world atlas of government financial institutions, measuring the subsidies and risks associated with development banks, and analyzing reverse mortgages.



"A Fair Value Approach to Valuing Public Infrastructure Projects and the Risk Transfer in Public Private Partnerships."

Lucas, Deborah J., and Jorge Jimenez Montesinos. In Economics of Infrastructure Investment, 1-33. Cambridge, MA: University of Chicago Press, Forthcoming.

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

Lucas, Deborah J. In Gathering Storm: The Risks of State Pension Underfunding, Cambridge, UK: Forthcoming.

"Funding Pandemic Relief: Monetise Now."

Gürkaynak, Refet, and Deborah Lucas. Vox, May 14, 2020.

"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 2019.

"Measuring the Cost of Bailouts."

Lucas, Deborah J. Annual Review of Financial Economics Vol. 11, (2019): 85-108. Download Paper.

"The Student Loan Consolidation Option."

Lucas, Deborah J. and Damien Moore. Journal of Public Economics Vol. 174, (2019): 1-12.

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