Lynn A. Karoly

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Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Ph.D. and M.A. in economics, Yale University; B.A. in economics, Claremont McKenna College

Media Resources

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Lynn Karoly is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. A labor economist, Karoly joined RAND in 1988. Her recent research has focused on human capital investments, social welfare policy, child and family well-being, and U.S. labor markets. In the area of child policy, she recently completed a multifaceted study of preschool education in California, documented in a series of reports and two RAND monographs. Related research has examined the economics of investing in universal preschool in California, early care and educaton among immigrant children, the costs and benefits of early childhood programs, and the use of benefit-cost analysis more generally to evaluate social programs. Other recent research has focused on the labor market impacts of Hurricane Katrina; self-employment and retirement patterns among older workers; the effects of welfare reform policies of the 1990s on family and child well-being; the future of the workforce and workplace in the United States; and human capital, labor market, and demographic policies in the Middle East. From 1995 to 2003, Karoly served as director of RAND Labor and Population. Her professional service includes her current role as an associate editor for the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis and prior service as a coeditor for The Journal of Human Resources. Karoly received her B.A. in economics and mathematics from Claremont McKenna (Men's) College and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

Previous Positions

Director, RAND Labor and Population

Recent Projects

  • Validating early care and education quality rating and improvement systems
  • Effects of welfare reform on family and child well-being
  • Costs and benefits of early childhood interventions
  • Benefit-cost analysis of social programs
  • Implications of various trends for the future U.S. workforce, workplace, and compensation

Selected Publications

Lynn A. Karoly, A Golden Opportunity: Advancing California's Early Care and Professional Development System, RAND Corporation (MG-1188), 2012

Lynn A. Karoly, "Toward Standardization of Benefit-Cost Analyses of Early Childhood Interventions," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, 3(1), 2012

Julie Zissimopoulos and Lynn A. Karoly, "Employment and Self-Employment in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina," Demography, 47(2), 2010

Lynn A. Karoly, Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California: Issues, Policy Options, and Recommendations, RAND Corporation (MG-889), 2009

Jeffrey Grogger and Lynn A. Karoly, "The Effects of Work-Conditioned Transfers on Marriage and Child Well-Being: A Review," The Economic Journal, 119(1):F15-F37, 2009

Lynn A. Karoly, M. Rebecca Kilburn, and Jill Cannon, Early Childhood Interventions: Proven Results, Future Promise, RAND Corporation (MG-341), 2005

Jeffrey Grogger and Lynn A. Karoly, Welfare Reform: Effects of a Decade of Change, Harvard University Press, 2005

Lynn A. Karoly and Constantijn W. A. Panis, The 21st Century at Work: Forces Shaping the Future Workforce and Workplace in the United States, RAND Corporation (MG-164), 2004

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Associated Press; Chicago Tribune; CNN; Marketplace Morning Report; San Diego Union-Tribune; San Francisco Chronicle; San Jose Mercury News; USA Today; Wall Street Journal

Commentary: Los Angeles Times