Lise Vesterlund is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Copenhagen, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin. She serves, and has served, on numerous editorial boards including the American Economic Review, AEJ: Economic Policy, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Journal of Economic Literature. She is the director of the Behavioral Economics Design Initiative (BEDI) and the Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Laboratory (PEEL), and co-author of the acclaimed 2022 book The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women's Dead-End Work.
Vesterlund works in two distinct research areas: charitable giving and gender differences in the labor market. Her work on charitable giving aims to determine why we give to charity, and on how solicitation strategies influence donations to organizations. Her research on gender sheds light on why men continue to be more successful than women in climbing the corporate ladder. She has demonstrated systematic gender differences in behavior when deciding whether to enter a competition or a negotiation, or when asked to perform a non-promotable task. In uncovering the drivers of these differences her work points to mechanisms that can be put in place to secure that the best qualified candidates are those promoted. Her research has been featured by scores of leading international publications, including New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, The Economist, Time magazine and Harvard Business Review.