Melissa S. Kearney is the Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is 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). She also serves on the Board of Governors of the Smith Richardson Foundation and on the Social Inequality Advisory Committee of the Russell Sage 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. She is a senior editor of the Future of Children and on the editorial boards of Demography and Journal of Economic Literature. From 2016-2018 she served as a co-editor at the Journal of Human Resources.

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. Kearney teaches Public Economics at both the undergraduate and PhD level at the University of Maryland. She received her 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

  • Poverty
  • Inequality
  • The Impacts of Economic Conditions and Government Tax and Transfer Programs on Low Income Families and Individuals


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2002
Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
ECON752 Public Economics II Spring 2017
ECON454 Public Finance and Public Policy Fall 2016
ECON326 Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Spring 2016 Syllabus
ECON752 Public Economics II Spring 2016 Syllabus
ECON326 Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis Fall 2015 Syllabus

Related Students (Listed by Student on Student's Profile)

  • Fernando Saltiel
Melissa Kearney
3115L Tydings Hall
Department of Economics
kearney [at]
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