Visiting Scholars

Celeste Carruthers

Celeste Carruthers ( is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Tennessee with a joint appointment in the Center for Business and Economic Research. Her research centers on education policy with crossovers into public economics, labor economics, and economic history. Recent and ongoing projects examine the effect of financial aid on college choices, Southern school expenditures in the wake of women’s suffrage, and the conditional black-white wage gap as of 1940.

Amita Chudgar

Amita Chudgar is an associate professor at Michigan State University’s College of Education. As a scholar Amita is committed to producing sophisticated, policy-relevant research that will help enhance educational equity in resource constrained environments. Most recently her research has focused on equity implications of school choice and on teacher distribution in developing countries. Amita trained in economics, development and education at Mumbai, Cambridge and Stanford respectively.

Hessel Oosterbeek

Hessel Oosterbeek ( is professor of economics at the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and fellow of the Tinbergen Institute (Amsterdam) and CESIfo (Munich). He is also affiliated with FLACSO in Ecuador. His primary fields of interest are economics of education, impact evaluation and development economics. His current research focuses on school assignment mechanisms and ability peer effects.

Min Sun

Min Sun ( is an assistant professor in Quantitative Policy Research in the College of Education at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her recent work analyzes educator quality issues in K-12 schools. She has also been involved in a number of projects of examining information diffusion and policy implementation. Another area of her scholarly interests is the development of methodological applications and computing tools for social network analysis and causal inferences.

Kalena Cortes

Kalena Cortes ( is an Assistant Professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). Her research focuses on issues of equity and access, in particular, identifying educational policies that help disadvantaged students at the K-12 and postsecondary levels.

Lingyan Li

Lingyan Li ( is an associate professor of education evaluation at Beijing Normal University’s School of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and an assistant director of National Assessment Center for Education Quality, Ministry of Education, China (NAEQ). Her research interests focus on the school development policies, looking specifically at how principals' leadership affect the quality of school managements, and how reforms and school-based self-evaluations affect students’ living situation in schools.

Marianne Bitler

Marianne ( is an Associate Professor of Economics at UC Irvine; a Research Associate in the NBER programs on Children and Health Economics; a member of the Irvine Network on Interventions in Development; and a Research Fellow at IZA. Her research interests include economics of education, program evaluation, safety net programs and their impacts on the health and well-being of children and other disadvanted groups, and economic demography.

Robin Jacob

Robin ( is a skillful evaluator of educational interventions with a special interest in how policies and programs can affect instructional quality and outcomes in elementary schools. She has extensive experience conducting evaluations of education reform initiatives, measuring educational outcomes, and analyzing student achievement and other outcome data. In addition to her substantive evaluation work, she is an expert in and publishes articles on evaluation methods. Much of her work focuses on strategically leveraging school reforms designed to maximize academic outcomes for children across all ethnic groups and income levels. Jacob joined the faculty of the School of Education and the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan in 2006.

Brian Jacob

Brian Jacob ( is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy, Professor of Economics, and Director of the Center on Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an Executive Committee Member of the National Poverty Center. He has previously served as a policy analyst in the NYC Mayor's Office and taught middle school in East Harlem.

Sean P. Corcoran

Sean P. Corcoran ( (Ph.D Economics, University of Maryland) is an associate professor of educational economics at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and an affiliated faculty of the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. He has been a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. since 2004, and was selected to be resident visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in 2005-06. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Education Finance and Policy and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and is a former member of the board of directors of the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP).