Mallika Thomas is a nonresident fellow in Economic Studies at Brookings and a former Rubenstein Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is a labor economist, and her research focuses on such topics such as the gender wage gap and specifically, the gender gap in promotions, establishing a framework to distinguish between employer-based discrimination versus gender differences in selection into occupations or “job tracks” as root causes for the gender gap in promotions. In addition, she studies the labor market impacts of parental leave policies. In her most recent work, she studies inequality in pay and compensation, not only in earnings but also in non-wage benefits across firms in the United States, measurements of workers’ value for the non-wage benefits of the job, and the implications this may have for work in a changing environment.
Thomas was previously an assistant professor in economics at Cornell University and a visiting assistant professor in economics at Princeton University. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and holds a B.A. in economics and a B.S. in Physics from Yale University. Thomas has also held appointments with the Board of Governors and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for International Development. She has received a number of awards during her academic career, including the University of Chicago Presidential Fellowship, the George Stigler dissertation award, and the American Economic Association dissertation fellowship. Her research has been featured in outlets like the New York Times and Business Insider.