About the Department
The Major
The Minor
Study Away
Department Working Papers
News & Events
majors & Events
What Can I Do With a Major in Economics?


Mahnaz Mahdavi

email Send E-mail office Office: Neilson 3/11 phone Phone: 413-585-3629

Office Hours: Spring 2016 Tu. 1-2:30, W 8:30-10, and by appt.






Mahnaz Mahdavi is professor of economics and the Ann F. Kaplan ’67 Faculty Director of Center for Women and Financial Independence. Professor Mahdavi received her doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has been teaching courses on corporate finance, international finance and international financial markets since 1985 at Smith College. She was the 2008 Distinguished Professor of the Year and inaugural recipient of the Sherrerd Teaching Award in 2004. She was a visiting assistant professor of economics at Harvard University, a teaching fellow at the University of Michigan, and a member of the faculty for the Women’s Executive Education program at Smith College.

Professor Mahdavi was Massachusetts appointed delegate to the National Retirement and Saving Summit, and a board member of The Financial Literacy Curriculum of Asia Pacific Foundation' Akamai Initiative. Currently she is a member of the American Economic Association, serves on the Boards of Institute for Global Finance Research and Management (INGRAM), and The Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

Her scholarly work has focused on the areas of exchange rate determination, the behavior of stock markets in the US and emerging markets, and most recently, the economic impact of financial education. She frequently lectures on topics related to global finance, debt and financial crises, and on the relevance of financial knowledge for sound financial behavior. Her 2005 study based on a nation-wide financial survey of college students was highly publicized. Currently, Dr. Mahdavi is analyzing the results of a generational financial survey of highly educated women. This study examines financial knowledge, retirement savings, risk-tolerance and investing, financial decision-making, and financial attitudes of women with educational attainment of at least a bachelor degree.