Melissa S. Kearney is the Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is also Director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group; a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); and a non-resident Senior Fellow at Brookings. She is a scholar affiliate and member of the board of the Notre Dame Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) and a scholar affiliate of the MIT Abdul Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). She is an editorial board member of the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy and Journal of Economic Literature, and a former co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources and Senior Editor of the Future of Children, . She serves on the Board of MDRC and the Board of Governors of the Smith Richardson Foundation. Kearney served as Director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings from 2013-2015 and as co-chair of the JPAL State and Local Innovation Initiative from 2015-2018.
Kearney's academic research focuses on domestic policy issues, especially issues related to social policy, poverty, and inequality. Her work has been published in leading academic journals and has been frequently cited in the popular press. She has testified before Congress on the topic of U.S. income inequality. Kearney teaches Public Economics at both the undergraduate and PhD level at the University of Maryland. She holds a BA in Economics from Princeton University and a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied on a National Science Foundation graduate student fellowship and a Harry S Truman fellowship.
Areas of Interest
- U.S. Poverty & Inequality
- Social and Education Programs & Interventions
- Children and families
- The impact of economic conditions & government programs on low-income households
Degree TypePhDDegree DetailsMassachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002
- The Puzzle of Falling US Birth Rates since the Great Recession, , Journal of Economic Perspectives 36(1 ), 151-176, February .
- The Puzzle of Falling US Birth Rates since the Great Recession, , Journal of Economic Perspectives 36(1 ), 151-176, January .
- Explaining the Decline in the U.S. Employment-to-Population Ratio: A Review of the Evidence, , Journal of Economic Literature 58(3 ), 585-643, September .
- Increasing Community College Completion Rates among Low-Income Students: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluation of a Case Management Intervention, , Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 39(4 ), 930-965, September .
- College Attainment, Income Inequality, and Economic Security: A Simulation Exercise, , American Economic Association Papers & Proceedings 110, 352-355, May .
- Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a Policy Response to Current Challenges, , Maintaining the Strength of American Capitalism, August .
- Early Childhood Education by Television: Lessons from Sesame Street, , American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 11(1 ), 318-350, February .
- Male Earnings, Marriageable Men, and Non-Marital Fertility: Evidence from the Fracking Boom, , Review of Economics and Statistics, February .
- The Economics of Non-Marital Childbearing and the Marriage Premium for Children, , Annual Review of Economics 9, September .
- Income Inequality, Social Mobility, and the Decision to Drop-Out of High School, , Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, March .
- Do Lottery Payments Induce Savings Behavior? Evidence from the Lab, , Journal of Public Economics 126, 1-24, June .
- Investigating Recent Trends in the U.S. Teen Birth Rates, , Journal of Health Economics 41, 15-29, May .
- Media Influences on Social Outcomes: The Impact of MTV's 16 and Pregnant on Teen Childbearing, , The American Economic Review 105(12 ), 3597-3632, December .
- The Supplemental Security Income Program, , Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, ed. Robert Moffitt 2, October .
- House Prices and Birth Rates: The Impact of the Real Estate Market on the Decision to Have a Baby, , Journal of Public Economics 110, 82-100, February .
- Income Inequality and Early, Non-Marital Childbearing, , Journal of Human Resources 49(1 ), 1-31, December .
- Exploring the Growth of the Child SSI Caseload in the Context of the Broader Policy and Demographic Landscape, , Presented at NBER/SSA Disability Research Conference, October .
- Product Recalls, Imperfect Information, and Spillover Effects: Lessons from the Consumer Response to the 2007 Toy Recalls, , Review of Economics and Statistics 94(2 ), 499-516, May .
- Why is the Teen Birth Rate So High in the United States and Why Does it Matter?, , Journal of Economic Perspectives 26(2 ), 141-163, April .
- Is Lottery Gambling Addictive?, , AEJ: Economic Policy 2(3 ), 90-110, August .
- Subsidized Contraception, Fertility, and Sexual Behavior, , Review of Economics and Statistics 91(1 ), 137-151, February .
- Gambling at Lucky Stores: Evidence from State Lottery Sales, , American Economic Review 98(1 ), 458-473, March .
- Parental Education and Parental Time with Children, , Journal of Economic Perspectives 22(3 ), 23-46, July .
- Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists, , The Review of Economics and Statistics 90(2 ), 300-323, May .
- The Impact of Child SSI Enrollment on Household Outcomes, , Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 26(4 ), 861-886, September .
- Rising Wage Inequality: The Role of Composition and Prices, , NBER Working Paper No. 11628, September .
- State Lotteries and Consumer Behavior, , Journal of Public Economics 89(11-12 ), 2269-2299, December .
- The Economic Winners and Losers of Legalized Gambling, , National Tax Journal 58(2 ), 281-302, June .
- Is There an Effect of Incremental Welfare Benefits on Fertility Behavior? A Look at the Family Cap, , Journal of Human Resources 39(2 ), 295-325, April .
- Luke Pardue