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Rachel Baker

Rachel Baker

Rachel ( is a doctoral student in Higher Education Policy and the Economics of Education at Stanford University and a Jack Kent Cooke Dissertation Fellow. Rachel studies inequalities in access to and success in higher education using behavioral economic models of decision making and quasi-experimental and experimental methods. Her job market paper, "Responses to Increased Structure in Community Colleges" examines how students and institutions responded to a state-wide policy smoothing the transfer process between two- and four-year schools. Rachel's other work includes agent based simulations of race- and ses-based affirmative action policies, a study of students' knowledge of labor market outcomes, and descriptive and experimental work on persistence in online classes. She works closely with the California Community Colleges. Rachel graduated in 2004 with a B.A. in psychology and elementary education from Dartmouth College. Her professional experience includes teaching elementary school in the Marshall Islands, working as a literacy specialist at a school for the Deaf, and coordinating college readiness programming at The Steppingstone Foundation in Boston.

Faculty Advisors: Sean Reardon, Eric Bettinger, Tom Dee

Research Interests: higher education success and persistence, higher education policy, descriptive and causal methods, broad access schools, economics of education, labor market outcomes, educational sorting and equity


  • Stanford University, Ph.D., Economics of Education & Education Policy, expected June 2015
  • Stanford University, M.A., Economics, 2014
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., Psychology Summa Cum Laude, 2004

More information:

Agent-based Simulation Models of the College Sorting Process. Sean F. Reardon, Matt Kasman, Daniel Klasik, Rachel Baker. 2014.
The Effects of Student Coaching An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Advising. Eric P. Bettinger, Rachel Baker. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), pp. 3-19. 2014.
Three Ideas for Broad-Access Higher Education. Mitchell L. Stevens, Kristopher Proctor, Daniel Klasik, Rachel Baker. A report on the conference, “Mapping Broad-Access Higher Education”, Stanford University, 1-2 December 2011, 2011.