Drew M. Anderson

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Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Ph.D. in economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.S. in economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.A. in mathematics and economics, Augustana University

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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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Drew M. Anderson (he/him) is an economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He studies the economics of education and household financial decisionmaking. He is particularly interested in public policies to alleviate poverty. At the intersection of all these topics are students' decisions about how to pay for college, and how these decisions are shaped by financial education and financial aid. Anderson is currently pursuing projects evaluating community college funding and organization, state-funded financial aid, the delivery and performance of student loans, and student financial literacy. College programs that are affordable and navigable have the potential to reduce inequality, and objective research can help them operate more efficiently. Anderson's research methods are primarily designing quasi-experiments and randomized experiments to uncover causal effects. He links together new sources of administrative data to support causal analysis as well as to undertake descriptive reporting. Before joining RAND, Anderson worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, jointly at the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and the Center for Financial Security. Anderson is currently a lecturer teaching economic analysis at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. He has a Ph.D. and M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a B.A. in mathematics and economics from Augustana University. 

Recent Projects

  • Evaluation of Single Stop
  • Mapping College Pathways in Ohio
  • Equity and Allocation of Financial Aid in New Jersey
  • Analysis of 10Plan
  • Informing Wisconsin Grant Policy

Selected Publications

Drew M. Anderson, "When Financial Aid is Scarce: The Challenge of Allocating College Aid Where It Is Needed Most," Journal of Public Economics, 190, 2020

Drew M. Anderson, Katharine M. Broton, Sara Goldrick-Rab, and Robert Kelchen, "Experimental Evidence on the Impacts of Need-Based Financial Aid: Longitudinal Assessment of the Wisconsin Scholars Grant," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 39(3), 2020

Drew M. Anderson, "What constitutes prudent spending from private college endowment funds? Evidence from underwater funds," Education Finance and Policy, 14(1), 2019

Drew M. Anderson and Sara Goldrick-Rab, "Aid after enrollment: Impacts of a statewide grant program at public two-year colleges," Economics of Education Review, 67, 2018

Drew M. Anderson and J. Michael Collins, "The impact of electronic payments for vulnerable consumers: Evidence from Social Security," Journal of Consumer Affairs, 52(1), 2018