Stokey has published significant research in the areas of economic growth and development, as well as papers on economic history ("A Quantitative Model of the British Industrial Revolution: 1780-1850," 2001) and econometrics ("Dynamic Programming with Homogeneous Functions," 1998, co-authored with Fernando Alvarez). She is the co-developer, with Paul Milgrom, of the no-trade theorem, a counter-intuitive development of the premises of financial economics. She co-authored with Robert Lucas, Jr. and Edward Prescott a book on Recursive Methods in Economic Dynamics that is widely used by research economists and graduate students.
Stokey is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was a vice-president of the American Economic Association between 1996-1997. She was also a member of the expert panel convened to produce a Copenhagen Consensus on some of the leading scientific/developmental problems of the 21st century. She has held editorial positions with top journals as Econometrica, The Journal of Economic Growth, Games and Economic Behavior and The Journal of Economic Theory.
She is married to Nobel Prize in Economics laureate Robert Lucas, Jr..