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Melissa Kearney is the Neil Moskowitz Professor of Economics at University of Maryland, researching domestic social policy, poverty, and inequality. Director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, she’s a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution. Previously, Kearney directed the Hamilton Project at Brookings and co-chaired J-PAL’s State and Local Innovation Initiative. She is a senior editor of the Princeton/Brookings journal The Future of Children, editorial board member of American Economic Journal: Economic Policy and Journal of Economic Literature, and advisory board member for the Notre Dame Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, Smith Richardson Foundation, and Russell Sage Foundation.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); 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 is a senior editor of the Future of Children, 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. She serves on 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.

Melissa S. Kearney

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Economic Studies

    Melissa S. Kearney is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland, where she has been on the faculty since 2006. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a faculty affiliate of the Notre Dame Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), and an affiliated scholar of J-PAL. Past positions include director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings, Mellon Fellow at Brookings, and assistant professor at Wellesley College. Kearney's research focuses on issues of social policy, poverty, and inequality and has been published in leading economics journals. Much of her research has focused on the effect of government programs and economic conditions on the behaviors and outcomes of economically disadvantaged populations. Kearney received her Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 and her B.A. from Princeton University in 1996. She studied on a National Science Graduate Research Fellowship and a Harry S Truman Scholarship.

    Melissa S. Kearney is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland, where she has been on the faculty since 2006. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a faculty affiliate of the Notre Dame Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), and an affiliated scholar of J-PAL. Past positions include director of the Hamilton Project at Brookings, Mellon Fellow at Brookings, and assistant professor at Wellesley College. Kearney’s research focuses on issues of social policy, poverty, and inequality and has been published in leading economics journals. Much of her research has focused on the effect of government programs and economic conditions on the behaviors and outcomes of economically disadvantaged populations. Kearney received her Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 and her B.A. from Princeton University in 1996. She studied on a National Science Graduate Research Fellowship and a Harry S Truman Scholarship.

    Topics
    Income Inequality & Social Mobility
    Poverty
    Social Issues
    Programs
    Economic Studies
    Projects
    Future of the Middle Class Initiative
    Current Positions
    Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution
    Professor, Department of Economics, University of Maryland
    Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
    Past Positions
    Director, The Hamilton Project at Brookings
    Fellow, Brookings Institution
    Assistant Professor, Wellesley College 
    Education
    Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2002)
    B.A., Princeton University (1996). 

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