Samuel Absher

Photo of Samuel Absher
Associate Economist
Santa Monica Office


B.A. in economics, University of Oklahoma; Ph.D. in economics, University of Oklahoma


Sam R. Absher is an associate economist at the RAND Corporation. He uses applied economics to study a wide range of questions: What role did cell phones really play in Libya’s 2011 “Twitter Revolution”? What can US policymakers do to help American firms "win" the 5G race? Will subsidizing America’s broadband infrastructure help rural students catch up to their urban peers? Recently, he’s been drawn to questions about technological advances and their role in reducing (or exacerbating) economic inequality and, more broadly, exploring ways that policymakers and philanthropies can improve opportunities for minorities and rural Americans. He’s currently working on a project that estimates elementary school quality’s impact on home values in Los Angeles Unified School District. Before joining RAND, Absher was a postdoctoral researcher at the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University. He has a Ph.D. and B.A. in economics from the University of Oklahoma.

Selected Publications

Absher, Sam R., Kevin Grier, Robin Grier, "The economic consequences of durable left-populism in Latin America," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 177(1), 2020

Absher, Sam R., Kevin Grier, and Bob Lawson, "You say you want a (Rose) Revolution? The effects of Georgia's 2004 market reforms.," Economics of Transition & Institutional Change, 27(1), 2018