The Catholic University of America
Business and Economics Faculty

Dr. Catherine Pakaluk


Catherine Ruth Pakaluk (PhD, 2010) joined the faculty at the Busch School in the summer of 2016 as Assistant Professor of Economics. Formerly, she was Assistant Professor and Chair of the Economics Department at Ave Maria University. Her primary areas of research include economics of education and religion, family studies and demography, Catholic social thought and political economy. Dr. Pakaluk is the 2015 recipient of the Acton Institute’s Novak Award, a prize given for “significant contributions to the study of the relationship between religion and economic liberty.”

Pakaluk did her doctoral work at Harvard University under Caroline Hoxby, David Cutler, and 2016 Nobel-laureate Oliver Hart. Her dissertation, “Essays in Applied Microeconomics”, examined the relationship between religious ‘fit' and educational outcomes, the role of parental effort in observed peer effects and school quality, and theoretical aspects of the contraceptive revolution as regards twentieth century demographic trends.   

Beyond her formal training in economics, Dr. Pakaluk studied Catholic social thought under the mentorship of F. Russell Hittinger, and various aspects of Thomistic thought with Steven A. Long. She is a widely-admired writer and sought-after speaker on matters of culture, gender, social science, the vocation of women, and the work of Edith Stein. She lives in Maryland with her husband Michael Pakaluk and eight children.

List of Publications/Presentations

Publications (selected):

Dependence on God and Man: Toward a Catholic Constitution of Liberty, 2015 Calihan Lecture, Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol 19 [2], Fall 2016.
Soulmates, Paradoxes, and the Significance of the Family for American Political Economy, The Family in America, Vol 30 [2], Spring 2016, pp. 215-228.
Non-Traditional Families and Progress through School: A Comment on Rosenfeld (with D Allen and J Price) Demography, Vol 50 [3], June 2013, pp. 955-961.
Epidemiology of brain lymphoma among people with or without acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (with TR Cote, A Manns, FJ Yellin and P Hartge). AIDS/Cancer Study Group. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol 88[10], May 1996, pp. 675.

Recent presentations (selected):

“The Sexual Revolution and the Problem of Dependence”, Mercy and the Sexual Revolution: 5th Annual Symposium on Advancing the New Evangelization, Featured Presenter, Benedictine College, Atchison, KS, April 9th, 2016.

“On Gender Ideology and Catholic Education”, Catholic Women’s Forum, Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C., April 8th, 2016.

“Quadragesimo Anno: Economic Thought in Pius XI”, Leonine Forum, Catholic Information Center, Washington, D.C., April 6th, 2016.

“Leonine Foundations of Human Ecology”, Human Ecology: Integrating 125 Years of Catholic Social Doctrine, The Catholic University of America and the Napa Institute, Washington D.C., March 16-18, 2016.

“Love, Liberty and Dependence” (Keynote), Liberating Power of Charity, 2016 Edith Stein Project Conference, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, February 5, 2016.

“Liberty and Dependence”, Calihan Lecture for the 2015 Novak Award for the Study of Religion and Liberty, Acton Institute, Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, FL, November 18, 2015.

“Soulmates, And Other Myths About the Family in America”, Napa Institute Summer Conference, Napa, CA, July 29, 2015.

“The Paradox of the Pill” (presented by Andrew Beauchamp) American Economics Association (January 2015, Boston); Society of Labor Economists (June 2015, Montreal)


In Her Words

“What is it that families generate (or preserve) in us that makes mobility and economic success so much more likely? What is it in our families that informs and shapes our political behaviors? Why is it that individualized conceptions of marriage and childbearing have taken hold with such intensity, even while self-reports of happiness are declining? These and related questions form the basis for a number of new research projects on the horizon: such projects will be vital to shaping sensible family policy in the short term, and to helping to restore the flourishing of our nation in the long term."Catherine Pakaluk




Office: 300 McMahon Hall
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20064

Office hours:By Appointment



Econ 242: Intermediate Microeconomics I

Areas of Specialization:

Applied Microeconomics

Economics of Education and Religion

Family Studies and Demography

Catholic Social Thought;

Political Economy