Megan Bea

Position title: Assistant Professor, School of Human Ecology


Phone: (608) 263-2199

4222 Nancy Nicholas Hall
1300 Linden Drive

School of Human Ecology
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Curriculum Vitae

I am an Assistant Professor of Consumer Science in the School of Human Ecology. I have a PhD in Sociology, with expertise in working with original and secondary data. I use longitudinal econometric and spatial methods to study a range of topics related to household finance and family well-being. In one key research area, I take a life-course perspective to study family economic and financial dynamics over time and connections to social inequality. In another primary research area, I examine the socio-spatial causes and consequences of unequal access to financial services at both the community and household levels, with attention to implications for family wellbeing. As part of my work, I routinely collaborate with scholars across multiple disciplines, including Law, Social Work, and Public Health.

CDE research theme area affiliations
Families and Family Change
Inequality, Poverty, Wealth, and Mobility
Spatial and Environmental Demography (Co- Research Area Director, 2023-2024)

Selected Publications
Bea, Megan Doherty. “A Life Course Perspective of Community (Non)Investment: Historical Financial Service Trajectories and Community Outcomes.” Journal of Family and Economic Issues (2023): 1 – 20.

Bea, Megan Doherty, Mariana Amorim, and Terri Friedline. “Public Cash Assistance and Spatial Predation: How State Cash-Transfer Environments Shape High-Interest Lender Geography.” Social Service Review 97, No. 3 (2023): 498 – 539.

Musick, Kelly, Megan Doherty Bea, and Pilar Gonalons-Pons. “His and Her Work and Earnings Following Parenthood in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.” American Sociological Review 85, No. 4 (2020): 639 – 674.

Agnew, Megan, Megan Doherty Bea, and Terri Friedline. “Payday Lenders and Premature Mortality.” Frontiers in Public Health 10 (2022): 1 – 15.

Bea, Megan Doherty and Youngmin Yi. “Leaving the Financial Nest: Connecting Young Adults’ Financial Independence to Financial Security.” Journal of Marriage and Family 81, No. 2 (2019): 397 – 414.