Debra L. Shepherd is a senior lecturer in the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University (SU), where she has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in microeconomics and econometrics since 2013. She is also a researcher with the Research on Socio-Economic Policy group based at Stellenbosch University. Her recent publications include the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute report “The Economic Cost of LGBT Stigma and Discrimination in South Africa” and chapters in The Politics and Governance of Basic Education: A Tale of Two South African Provinces (Oxford University Press, 2018) and Assessment of Reading in International Studies (Routledge, 2019).
During her fellowship at Radcliffe, Shepherd is working on several journal articles that form part of a longer-term research project focusing on the role of stigma, status, and social stratification in intergroup inequality in South Africa, specifically in academic achievement, employment, and earnings. The interdisciplinary research will combine analysis of large-scale representative data and rich contextual survey data and aims to contribute to the fields of stratification economics and identity economics.
Shepherd received her PhD in development economics jointly from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and SU under the VU Amsterdam–NRF Desmond Tutu Doctoral Scholarship. She is the recipient of an SU Teaching Excellence Award and is a facilitator of the pilot South African prison-to-college pipeline project Ubuntu Learning Short Course. Aside from her Radcliffe fellowship, Shepherd was awarded a three-year 2018 Iso Lomso Fellowship for Early Career African Researchers from the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, in South Africa.