2024 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Corinne Low, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Corinne Low
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

“Professor Low’s class is one of the most impactful that I’ve taken at Wharton. It has prompted the most (and some of the most thought-provoking) conversations with classmates/friends/family outside of the classroom and provided me with new frameworks for evaluating societal structures and practices. Professor Low is also very skilled at holding the attention of the lecture hall, with a dynamic and engaging speaking style.” – Genny Silva, student

Corinne Low, 39, is Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

She created the class Economics of Diversity and Discrimination which became one of Wharton’s most in-demand and highest rated classes, leading to the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion major. Her research focuses on the economics of gender and discrimination and has been published in top journals such as the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and Journal of Political Economy.

Her work has also been featured in  media outlets such as Forbes, Vanity Fair, The LA Times, and NPR.

She is the co-creator of the Incentivized Resume Rating method for measuring hiring discrimination, and regularly speaks to and works with firms looking to improve their inclusion practices. She has spoken to and advised firms like Google, IFM Investors, Uber, Activision Blizzard, and Amazon Web Services, in addition to teaching in Wharton’s Executive Education programs.

Outside of work, she is the co-founder and volunteer executive director for Open Hearts Initiative, a New York City based non-profit that aims to combat the homelessness crisis through pro-housing neighborhood organizing. Her advocacy has been recognized by awards from Coalition for the Homeless and the NYC Public Advocate’s Office. Her first book, Femonomics, will be published by Flatiron in Fall 2025.


At current institution since what year? 2014

Education: PhD, Columbia University, BS, Duke University

List of MBA courses you currently teach: Economics of Diversity and Discrimination


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… Wharton made me a job offer!

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I’m currently studying the allocation of home production time between men and women in heterosexual relationships. And I think one of the biggest threats to women’s equality in the workplace is that, on average, they’re married to men. The time use data I study shows women are still doing substantially more at home, and there’s just no way to create more hours in the day, and so they end up working fewer hours. Gender roles have converged in the workplace, but have not yet converged at home! That’s why I joke that for me being a lesbian is an evidence-based decision!

If I weren’t a business school professor… I’m not sure, because I think I’d do the things that I still do now: I would be a researcher, an organizer and activist, and a writer. I get to do all of that now!

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I genuinely care about the topics I teach and about each and every one of my students, and I think they feel that!

One word that describes my first time teaching: I guess intimidating! But I quickly got better at it!

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: I think being an academic is actually an amazingly family-friendly profession, even though of course there are issues and things to work on, and I’m so grateful to have stumbled into this career. I got tenure at Wharton last year, and feel so lucky to have a job where I get to work on issues that I think are important, teach amazing students, have time for activism, and still pick my son up from school.

Professor I most admire and why: The late Bill Spriggs and my former Duke professor Sandy Darity have been hugely influential to me, and have held the economics profession to account on how it studies race. Sandy was one of the people who told me to get an econ PhD, along with my undergraduate advisor Connell Fullenkamp. Claudia Goldin trailblazed the field that I now work in—studying the economic lives of women. And my Columbia advisors, Kiki Pop-Eleches, and Pierre-André Chiappori, always believed in me and my ideas more than I did myself!


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? I love teaching MBA students, and I think there are a lot of myths about what they’re like. My students are passionate, dedicated, intellectually curious, vibrant, funny, and KIND. They bring so much to the table, that I often say that we teach the class together—their experiences and insights are crucial for everyone’s learning.

What is most challenging? Skip! Nothing, I love them.

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: All my students are different and they’re all my favorite!

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: I told you they were all my favorites!

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Well I did win the “Tough but Fair” teaching award once. But I think students would describe me as flexible but consistent. We collaboratively set up policies at the beginning of the term that build in some flexibility for unforeseen circumstances, but also offer fairness by being transparent and symmetric for everyone.


What are your hobbies? Being a parent! Haha. And I am the volunteer executive director of a non-profit that organizes housed New Yorkers in support of welcoming homeless neighbors.

How will you spend your summer? Writing a book! My first book, a data-driven approach to improving the lives of women and overcoming the structural, economic, and biological forces that constrain our choices, will be published by Flatiron in 2025.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Anywhere with good food!

Favorite book(s): There’s not enough space for all the non-fiction on my nightstand, so let’s go with a fiction book I read recently that I really enjoyed: Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro. Before that, Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi.

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Writing my book! Haha, I’ll have time for TV again soon.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? I never stopped listening to 90s grunge.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… I’d like us to think about how we prepare people to be leaders in a global, diverse work environment, and understand that this should be a core part of business education!

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… Recognizing that if they want to realize the enormous potential benefits of reversing centuries of historical exclusion of certain groups, they have to be willing to invest in it, not just with words, but with actions and money! And one thing I wish firms and the general public would understand, from my research, is that their diversity programs really aren’t going as far as they think. We still see hiring discrimination and bias in the data, even among prestigious firms hiring top college students! But we also see that these firms think they have diversity preferences, which causes them to downgrade internship experience from female and minority candidates and think these candidates are less likely to accept. Thinking you’ve solved your diversity problem can make it worse!

I’m grateful for… My amazing students who want to learn about diversity and discrimination while getting their MBA!


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