The PAM graduate faculty have multidisciplinary expertise in a range of substantive policy areas, including Education Policy, Social Policy, Health and Health Care Policy, and Regulatory Policy. This is paired with cutting-edge methodological expertise in topics such as Applied Econometrics, Demographic Techniques, Program Evaluation, and Mixed Methods. Our faculty actively mentor Ph.D. students and include them in their research, conference presentations, and publications.
Research topics span many issues at the intersection of labor economics and public finance, as well as the connections between social inequality and education policy. Recent research on this topic in PAM includes: the role of financial constraints in student educational investment decisions; the effect of government resources on educational outcomes; identification of educational production functions (which includes the role of teacher quality, school organizations and class sizes on student achievement); teacher labor markets and the effects of market-based interventions, such as merit pay and charter schools; how school choice policies shape residential decisions and residential segregation; and the consequences of mass incarceration for children’s educational experiences and outcomes.
Recent faculty and student collaborations on education topics (Ph.D. students in bold):
PAM research on social policy covers multidisciplinary perspectives on pressing societal issues and debates regarding the design of social programs. Faculty and students examine the dynamics of family composition and household decision-making; social safety net policies that impact economically-vulnerable populations; intersections between labor policy and social policy; and how public policy influences immigration, criminal justice, and child development.
Recent faculty and student collaborations on social policy topics (Ph.D. students in bold):
In the health policy concentration, we study topics such as the economics of risky health behaviors (e.g., cigarette smoking, obesity) and related policies; consumers' response to health information and advertising; health insurance markets, both public (Medicare, Medicaid) and private, including regulation, consequences of coverage, and trends in managed care; pharmaceutical policy; education of physicians and medical labor markets; welfare effects (benefits and costs) of new medical technologies; and health disparities across the life course and among demographic groups.
Recent faculty and student collaborations on health policy topics (Ph.D. students in bold):
This concentration area focuses on the impact of the social, legal, regulatory and economic environment on consumer and producer behavior. In recent years, PAM faculty and students have studied the effects of law on consumer well-being; the regulation of market information and product quality; the role of mass media and consumer choice; and the determinants of consumer behavior.
Recent faculty and student collaborations on regulatory and consumer policy topics (Ph.D. students in bold):