Lynn A. Karoly

Photo of Lynn Karoly
Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Education

Ph.D. and M.A. in economics, Yale University; B.A. in economics, Claremont McKenna College

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

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Overview

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, much of her research has focused on early childhood programs with studies on the use and quality of early care and education (ECE) programs, the system of publicly subsidized ECE programs, professional development for the ECE workforce, and ECE quality rating and improvement systems. In related work, she has examined the costs, benefits, and economic returns of early childhood interventions and youth development programs, and she has assessed the use of benefit-cost analysis more generally to evaluate social programs. Other research has focused on 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. Karoly served as the director of RAND's Office of Research Quality Assurance from 2004 to 2014 and as director of RAND Labor and Population from 1995 to 2003. Her professional service includes editorial roles for the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis and The Journal of Human Resources. Karoly received her 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

Ashley Pierson, Lynn A. Karoly, Gail L. Zellman, and Megan K. Beckett, Early and School-Age Care in Santa Monica: Current System, Policy Options, and Recommendations, RAND Corporation (RR-606), 2014

Lynn A. Karoly, Gail L. Zellman, and Michal Perlman, "Understanding Variation in Classroom Quality Within Early Childhood Centers: Evidence from Colorado's Quality Rating and Improvement System," Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(4), 2013

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

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

Commentary

Publications