Martha Olney is an adjunct professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Economics focusing on the fields of economic history, macroeconomics, and the economics of discrimination. Olney's research interests include consumer spending; consumer indebtedness; the Great Depression; race and credit and saving.
Olney joined the Economics Department in 1991 as a research associate at the Institute of Business and Economic Research. She was a visiting associate professor from 1993 to 2002, when she became an adjunct professor. She has been an organizer and host of the Economic History Lunches for graduate students and faculty since 1996. Prior to joining Berkeley, she was a visiting associate professor of economics at Stanford University in 2001 and associate professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she had taught since 1984. She received her Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1985.
Olney is the recipient of UC Berkeley's Distinguished Teaching Award (2002-2003); the Jonathan Hughes Prize for Excellence in Teaching Economic History (1997); Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Massachusetts (1990-1991). She was selected as a "Great Teacher in Economics" by the Stavros Center for Economic Education in 2007.