Brenda Wyss

Associate Professor of Economics; Coordinator of Development Studies


Knapton 009C



I’ve worked with the Center for Popular Economics (CPE) for over ten years. CPE provides economic literacy training and progressive economic analysis to social change activists and grassroots community organizations. I’ve taught CPE workshops in Massachusetts, Ohio, Iowa, Vermont, and Missouri. From 1994 to 1999, I served on the Board of Directors of Sojourner House, a Providence based organization serving victims of domestic violence and working to end domestic violence. I’m also a member of the Union for Radical Political Economics and the International Association for Feminist Economics.


Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst
B.A., University of Missouri, Columbia

Research Interests

Gender and the Economics of Childrearing in Jamaica; Caribbean Economic Development; Family Policy; Household and Family Economies; Feminist Economic Theory


“The Effect of Trade Liberalization on Jamaica’s Poor: An Analysis of Agriculture and Services.” 2004. Washington, DC: Women’s Edge Coalition.

“Global Poaching: Jamaica’s Brain Drain.” 2004. Econ-Atrocity Bulletin.

“Gender and Cash Child Support in Jamaica.” 2001. Review of Radical Political Economics, Special Issue on Feminist Economics, Volume 33: 415-439.

“Child Support.” 2000. In Meg Lewis and Janice Peterson (eds.). The Elgar Companion to Feminist Economics. (Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd.). Excerpt republished in Lynne Dallas. 2004. Law and Public Policy: A Socioeconomic Approach. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

“Culture and Gender in Household Economies: The Case of Jamaican Child Support Payments.” 1999. Feminist Economics, Volume 5, No. 2: 1-24.

“Making Connections: Women in the International Economy.” 1993. Co-authored with Radhika Balakrishnan. In Gerald Epstein, Julie Graham, and Jessica Nembhard (eds.). Creating a New World Economy: Forces of Change and Plans for Action. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press).

Student Projects

In the summer of 2002, I collaborated with Sociology Professor, Michelle Harris, and four Wheaton students (Sarah Biolsi ’02, Tom Clarke ’02, Winston Benjamin ’04, and Orly Clerge ’05) on a household survey project, “A Study of the Family in Jamaica” along with faculty members and students at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Jamaica. This project culminated in a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and continue the survey research in Jamaica during spring semester, 2003.

Currently, I am working with Sociology Professor, Hyun Sook Kim, and Wheaton students (Orly Clerge ’05, Dania Diaz ’07, Erika Lugo ’07, and Derron “J.R.” Wallace ’07) on a project studying the experiences of West Indian teachers recruited to teach in New York City’s public schools.