Faculty Profile

Sara  Gundersen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Arts & Sciences, Rm. 366
(219) 464-5118




  • B.A. - University of Wisconsin, Stout
  • M.A., Ph.D. - Clark University


Journal Articles

  • 2013. Is market power destructive? An undergraduate assignment using Adam Smith's criticisms of monopolies. Inderscience Publishers


Working Papers


"Educated Mothers, Healthier Kids? An Examination of the Link between Maternal Education and Malnutrition in Ghana"

Co-Written with Amy Ickowitz
Center for International Forestry Research

This is the first paper to explicitly examine the effect of parental education on child health in the context of insignificant income returns to education, which have recently been found in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Using data from Ghana, this paper explores the effect of both maternal and paternal education on levels of own child malnourishment.  Maternal education does not reduce malnourishment, but maternal Raven’s scores consistently reduce the probability of being underweight.  Father’s education also reduces the probability of being underweight.   


“Does Hiring Affect Education Returns? An Examination of Signaling in Ghana”

Education signaling occurs when educated individuals earn more money simply because education makes them seem more able. This paper examines education signaling in Ghana by testing for differences in returns to education between sectors based on Spence’s 2002 model. Evidence of signaling is found in virtually all specifications and is stronger for levels of schooling above six years.  


Research Interests

Development Economics, Economics of Education, Econometrics, Teaching Economics

Areas of Specialization