Professor Sarah Brown

School of Economics

Professor of Economics

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+44 114 222 3404

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Professor Sarah Brown
School of Economics
Room 531
9 Mappin Street
S1 4DT

Sarah graduated from the University of Hull in 1989 and gained her MA in Economics at the University of Warwick in 1990 and her PhD from the University of Loughborough and was appointed to a lectureship there in 1994.

Sarah was promoted to a senior lectureship in 2001 at the University of Leicester. She took up a Chair in Economics at the University of Sheffield in 2005 and was Head of Department from 2006 to 2011.

Sarah is a Research Fellow at the IZA (Institute for the Study of Labour, Bonn) and an Associate Fellow at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI). She has been a member of the Department for Work and Pensions Steering Committee for the Work, Pensions and Labour Economics Study Group (WPEG) since 2001. Sarah is currently the President of the Scottish Economic Society and a Managing Editor of the Bulletin of Economic Research.

Sarah was a member of: the Grant Assessment Panel C of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) from 2010 to 2013; the REF 2014 Economics & Econometrics Sub-Panel; the Women's Committee of the Royal Economic Society from 2010 to 2015; the Steering Group of the Royal Economic Society Conference of Heads of University Departments of Economics from 2010 to 2016; and the Royal Economic Society Council from 2013 to 2018. Sarah was an Independent Member of the Low Pay Commission from 2015 to 2021. 

In 2012 Sarah was awarded a two-year Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship for a project entitled Household Finances, Intergenerational Attitudes and Social Interaction.

Research interests

Sarah's research interests lie in the area of applied microeconometrics focusing on labour economics, the economics of education and household finances. She is interested in supervising PhD students in any of these areas.


Journal articles

Working papers

  • Alzuabi R, Brown S, Harris MN & Taylor K (2022) Modelling the composition of household portfolios: a latent class approach. The Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series (SERPS), 2022019. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching activities

I am currently the module leader for Classical and Contemporary Thinkers in Economics, which introduces students a wide range of approaches to economics, from Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes through to Amartya Sen and Daniel Kahneman. This module helps students to understand the historical roots of the discipline, as well as, contemporary developments in economics.

My approach to teaching entails not only introducing students to traditional as well as recent advances in economic analysis but also to develop critical evaluation skills so that students can assess alternative theories and approaches and consider possible areas of improvement, as well as their current and practical relevance.

My approach to teaching explicitly links teaching and research. Students are not just presented with a fixed set of theories or one approach to economics– they are encouraged to evaluate different approaches so that they learn about and engage with the process of research.