Melissa S. Kearney is a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); a non-resident Senior Fellow at Brookings; 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) and co-chair of the J-PAL cities and states inititative.
Kearney served as Director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings from 2013-2015 and currently serves on the Project's Advisory Council. She has held leadership positions in the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM) and is a member of the Research Advisory Council of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. She has testified before Congress on the issue of income inequality. Prior to joining the Maryland faculty in 2006, Kearney was a fellow at the Brookings Institution and Assistant Professor at Wellesley College. Professor Kearney received her PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 and her BA from Princeton University in 1996. She studied on a National Science Graduate Research Fellowship and a Harry S Truman Scholarship.
Kearney's research focuses on issues of social policy, poverty, and inequality. Many of her papers examine the effect of government programs and economic conditions on the behaviors and outcomes of economically disadvantaged populations. Her work has been published in leading academic journals and has been frequently cited in the popular press. Kearney teaches Public Economics at both the undergraduate and PhD level at the University of Maryland.
Areas of Interest
- The Impacts of Economic Conditions and Government Tax and Transfer Programs on Low Income Families and Individuals
Degree TypePhDDegree DetailsMassachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002
- Explaining the Decline in the U.S. Employment-to-Population Ratio: A Review of the Evidence, , NBER working paper series, 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 .