M. Rebecca Kilburn

Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in economics, University of Chicago; M.A. in economics, University of Chicago; B.A. in economics, Kenyon 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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M. Rebecca Kilburn is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Kilburn's research focuses on the effects of public and private investments in children. She coauthored Investing in Our Children, RAND's pathbreaking 1998 report that contained some of the original cost-benefit analysis of early childhood interventions. Subsequent publications synthesized evaluations of early childhood interventions, including home visiting programs, to generate estimates of pooled effect sizes, identify features of effective programs, and estimate costs and government savings produced by these interventions. Kilburn recently coauthored Getting To Outcomes™ for Home Visiting, a manual that describes a ten-step process that empowers groups to better plan, implement, and evaluate home visiting programs in order to achieve the best possible outcomes. Kilburn is currently undertaking a randomized trial evaluation of a home visiting model that combines nurses and other trained staff to enhance the health and developmental outcomes of children and their parents. Other ongoing research includes a project funded by the European Commission that identifies and disseminates best practices in child and family policy for the 27 Member States of the European Union and an evaluation of Hawaii's P-3 initiative. Kilburn earned her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.

Recent Projects

  • New Mexico Home Visiting Randomized Trial Evaluation
  • Getting To Outcomes® for Home Visiting
  • Evaluation of Hawaii's P-3 Initiative
  • European Platform for Investing in Children

Selected Publications

"Testimony presented before the House Ways and Means Committee, Subcommittee on Human Resources on April 2, 2014," in Kilburn, M. Rebecca, Evidence on Home Visiting and Suggestions for Implementing Evidence-Based Home Visiting Through MIECHV, RAND Corporation (CT-407), 2014

Mattox, Teryn, Hunter, Sarah B., Kilburn, M. Rebecca, Wiseman, Shelley H., Getting To Outcomes® for Home Visiting: How to Plan, Implement, and Evaluate a Program in Your Community to Support Parents and Their Young Children, RAND Corporation (TL-114-SMN), 2013

Mattox, Teryn, and M. Rebecca Kilburn, "Understanding Evidence-Based Information for the Early Childhood Field: Tips From RAND's Promising Practices Network," Zero to Three Journal, 32(4):4-10, 2012

Zellman, Gail L., and M. Rebecca Kilburn, Hawai'i P-3 Initiative: Findings from the First Year of the Evaluation, RAND Corporation (TR-921-HDED), 2011

Honors & Awards

  • Promising Practices Network named Finalist, Harvard's Innovation in American Government Awards


  • U.S. President Barack Obama is introduced to speak by Christian Champagne from Chicago at the unveiling of Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" initiative

    Realizing the Potential of 'My Brother's Keeper'

    The White House has mobilized an impressive coalition to address a critical national challenge, and used the power of research evidence to begin to structure the initiative. By drawing more lessons from research, the initiative can further bolster its chance to build strong and lasting ladders of opportunity and success for boys and young men of color.

    Mar 16, 2014 | The Hill

  • two women with smiling baby girl, adorable, adult, baby, beautiful, caucasian, cheerful, child, cute, daughter, embracing, enjoyment, expression, face, family, fun, funny, generations, girl, granddaughter, grandma, grandmother, happiness, happy, home, infant, lady, laughing, little, love, mature, mother, mum, nanny, offspring, people, playful, senior, smiling, three, three-generation, toddler, together, togetherness, woman, women

    Support for Implementing Home Visiting Under the Affordable Care Act

    One groundbreaking provision of the Affordable Care Act is its funding for home visiting programs that match the parents of young children with trained specialists who provide information, social support, parental skill instruction, and more.

    Jan 8, 2014 | The RAND Blog

  • teacher and pediatrician observing children

    The Time Is Ripe for Evidence

    Earlier this year, the European Commission renewed its commitment to promoting child well-being. One of the guidelines was to strengthen the use of evidence-based policy. This is noteworthy because it represents one of the first times that the EC has specifically advocated the use of evidence in policy making.

    Dec 2, 2013 | The Alliance for Useful Evidence

  • colorful crayons

    The President's Early Childhood Expansion Should Take a 'Portfolio' Approach

    A optimal approach to strategically expanding access to early childhood programs is one that helps states and communities identify evidence-based approaches that address their particular needs, within the context of their characteristics, writes M. Rebecca Kilburn.

    Feb 21, 2013 | RAND.org