Trey Miller

trey miller , trey miller
Economist; Faculty Affiliate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in economics, Stanford University; B.A. in economics, University of Texas


Trey Miller is an economist at RAND whose research focuses on education policy. Miller has lead quantitative and mixed methods research projects with multi-disciplinary research teams and a combined budget of over $10M for clients including the Institute of Education Sciences, the Lumina Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Houston Endowment, the Spencer Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Miller is currently leading an IES-funded Researcher-Practitioner Partnership with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), which is focused on working with a variety of stakeholders across Texas to develop, implement, evaluate, and refine policies and practices to improve student access and success in higher education while also reducing the cost of higher education to students and taxpayers. Among other accomplishments, the THECB-RAND Research Partnership has lead to two additional IES-funded research collaborations between THECB and RAND, which are focused on the implementation of statewide reform to policies surrounding the delivery of postsecondary developmental education in Texas.

Miller was also a lead author on the Gates Foundation-funded Measures of Effective Teaching Randomization study, which validated an array of commonly used measures of teaching effectiveness by randomly assigning teachers to classrooms in six school districts across the United States.

Miller communicates his research to diverse audiences including researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the form of research reports and briefs, conference presentations, and academic journal articles. His work has been published in leading journals including American Educational Research Journal, Economics of Education Review, Demography, and Journal of Higher Education.

Recent Projects

  • An Experimental Evaluation of Accelerated Pathways Through Developmental Education
  • Continuous Improvement Research to Support the Implementation of Statewide Reforms to Developmental Education in Texas
  • Research to Support Effective Scaling of Dual Credit Education in Texas
  • Evaluation and Implementation Support for Integrating Technology into Higher Education
  • Efficacy and Efficiency of Educational Benefits Programs for Servicemembers

Selected Publications

Robert Bozick, Alessandro Malchiodi, and Trey Miller, "Pre-Migration School Quality, Time Spent in the United States, and the Math Achievement of Immigrant High School Students," Demography, 5:1477-1498, 53 (forthcoming)

Emily Weisburst, Paco Martorell, Trey Miller, Lindsay Daugherty and Jana Cossairt, "Innovative Pathways Through Developmental Education and Post-Secondary Success: An Examination of Developmental Math Interventions Across Texas," Journal of Higher Education (forthcoming)

Jennifer Steele, Robert Slater, Gema Zamarro, Jennifer Li and Trey Miller, "The Effect of Dual-Language Immersion on Student Performance in the Portland Public Schools: Evidence from Lottery Data," American Educational Research Journal (forthcoming)

Paco Martorell, Trey Miller, Lucrecia Santibanez, and Catharine Augustine, "Can Incentives for Parents and Students Change Educational Inputs? Experimental Evidence from Summer School," Economics of Education Review, 50(1):113-126, 2016

Robert Bozick and Trey Miller, "In-State College Tuition Policies for Undocumented Immigrants: Implications for High School Enrollment Among Non-Citizen Mexican Youth," Population Research and Policy Review, 33(1), 2014

Jesse Cunha and Trey Miller, "Measuring Value-Added in Higher Education: Possibilities and Limitations in the Use of Administrative Data," Economics of Education Review, 42(3), 2014

Kane, Thomas J.; McCaffrey, Daniel F.; Miller, Trey.; Staiger, Douglas O., Have we identified effective teachers?: Validating measures of effective teaching using random assignment, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013

Norman Nie, Trey Miller, Saar Golde, Dan Butler, Ken Winneg, "The World Wide Web and the U.S. Political News Market," American Journal of Political Science, 54(2), 2010

Honors & Awards

  • RAND Bronze Medal Award for Initiating a Research Partnership with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, RAND
  • RAND Idea Showcase Winner for Developing a College Matching Tool, RAND


  • Three college students walking to class

    The High Cost of Free College

    Tuition subsidies may encourage institutions to raise tuition, since the government would foot the bill. One possible solution: develop and implement policies that encourage greater productivity from higher education institutions.

    Aug 1, 2016 U.S. News & World Report

  • College student discussing assignment with tutor

    The Shared Savings Model: An Innovative Way to Attack Rapidly Rising College Costs

    The challenge facing policymakers is how to lessen the college cost pressure felt by families while incentivizing institutions to innovate to reduce cost and improve quality. What if cost savings from increased productivity were quantified and a portion returned to institutions?

    Oct 22, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Woman using a laptop at her kitchen table

    Exploring New Approaches to Higher Education: The Expansion of Competency-Based Programs

    Policymakers and educators must determine if the risks of maintaining the status quo outweigh the potential benefits of competency-based programs, especially for those students who are ill-served by the traditional higher education model.

    Sep 29, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • A college student reviewing her notes

    America's College Promise: Meeting the Higher Education Challenge

    President Obama's proposal to cover the costs of two years of community college offers hope to many American students, but two key challenges should be addressed: meeting the needs of underprepared students and devising a system to smooth the transfer of credits from one institution to another.

    Jan 19, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus at Powai in Mumbai

    Four Approaches to Improve Higher Education in India Through Policies

    In India, university enrolment has grown from 10 to 23 million from 2000 to 2013, and so has interest in improving access and quality. A review of research on higher-education policies on affirmative action, financial aid, private education, and vocational education identifies gaps in research on improving access and quality.

    Jun 12, 2014 EduTech Magazine