Drew M. Anderson

Photo of Drew Anderson
Associate Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.S. in economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.A. in mathematics and economics, Augustana University

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.

More Experts


Drew M. Anderson is an associate economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He studies the economics of education and household financial decision making. 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 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 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. He is also currently a lecturer teaching economic analysis at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. 

Recent Projects

  • Mapping College Pathways in Ohio
  • Equity and Allocation of Financial Aid in New Jersey
  • Analysis of 10Plan
  • Informing Wisconsin Grant Policy
  • Visualizing the Demand and Supply of Financial Aid for College

Selected Publications

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, 2020 (forthcoming)

Drew M. Anderson, When financial aid is scarce: The challenge of allocating college aid where it is needed most, RAND (WR-1307), 2019

Drew M. Anderson, Matthew D. Baird, and Robert Bozick, Who gets counted as part of America's STEM workforce? The implications of different classification approaches for understanding the gender gap in STEM, RAND (WR-1282), 2018

Drew M. Anderson, Jonathan G. Conzelmann, and T. Austin Lacy, The state of financial knowledge in college: New evidence from a national survey , RAND (WR-1256), 2018

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

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