Megan Doherty Bea Assistant Professor of Consumer Scienceshe/her/hers

I am an assistant professor of Consumer Science studying consumer finance and financial well-being. My research is motivated by a desire to understand the causes and consequences of socioeconomic and financial inequality, particularly in the American context. For this work, I bring a sociological perspective informed by law, economics, and geography to examine a range of topics. Recent research topics include financial security among young adults and consumer access to financial services in communities.

Selected Publications

Bea, M. D. (2023). Relational foundations of an unequal consumer credit market: Symbiotic ties between banks and payday lenders. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 57(1), 320-345.

Bea, M. D., & Bley, K. (2022). (Un)conditional consumer protections in high-cost lending regulation: Impacts on local lending geographies. Journal of Consumer Affairs56(4), 1561-1596.

Bea, M. D., & Taylor-Poppe, E. S. (2021). Marginalized legal categories: Social inequality, family structure, and the laws of intestacy. Law and Society Review, 55(2), 252-272.

Musick, K., Bea, M. D., & Gonalons-Pons, P. (2020). His and Her Earnings Following Parenthood in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. American Sociological Review85(4), 639–674.

For a full list of publications, see Bea’s CV.

Portrait of Megan Bea, a white woman smiling, with brown hair, wearing a white shirt with a colorful necklace.


  • Consumer Science

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Consumer Behavior & Family Economics



  • PhD, Sociology, Cornell University
  • MA, Sociology, Cornell University
  • BA, Economics and French, Bryn Mawr College


Office: 4222 Nancy Nicholas Hall

Phone: 608-263-2199



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