Personal profile

Personal profile

Deborah Levison holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan, where she also trained at the Population Studies Center. An applied microeconomist with training in international development economics, economic demography, and labor economics, Levison is a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, with 10 teaching awards to her record.

Much of Levison’s research has focused on the work (both labor force and "chores") and schooling of children in low-income countries, typically via quantitative analysis of survey data; more recent projects also include qualitative approaches. While on sabbatical in Tanzania, Levison became interested in connections between environmental sustainability, livelihoods, and children’s time use. In 2011, she and collaborators piloted a study in Kondoa, Tanzania, examining connections between youth’s chores and schooling, on the one hand, and environmental degradation on the other hand.

Animating Children’s Views (ACV)is the current project of Levison and doctoral student collaborator Anna Bolgrien. It develops a methodology to implement Article 12 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child in the Global South, which states that children should be listened to on matters that concern them.

Levison is co-investigator on the IPUMS-International project, which is dedicated to collecting, preserving, harmonizing, and distributing census data from around the world to researchers, absolutely free, from

Research interests

International development; child labor and education; survey research involving children; human rights of children; population studies

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Interest Keywords

  • child labor
  • education in developing countries
  • youth employment
  • international development
  • human rights of children
  • survey research involving children
  • population studies


The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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