Matthew D. Baird

Photo of Matthew Baird
Economist; Co-Director, Center for Causal Inference; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
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Ph.D. in economics, University of California, Los Angeles


Matthew Baird is an economist at the RAND Corporation, co-director of the Center for Causal Inference, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research focuses primarily on understanding labor markets and education policy to improve outcomes for disadvantaged populations. Examples of his research include a job training pipeline for underemployed workers evaluated through an RCT, evaluations of STEM major attrition and the STEM education to STEM workforce pipeline for minorities, an examination of low-income minority students' access to effective teachers, the development of new methodology to evaluate disequilibrium in specialized labor markets and the implications for access to care, and evaluations of the state policy of health providers' work decisions and resulting access to healthcare.

Baird's research more generally spans the fields of labor, education, and demographics. For example, his research additionally includes evaluating the role of non-wage benefits in occupation and job transition and its relationship to inequality interventions, analyses of how public investment in low-income neighborhoods can succeed, understanding changes in psychological distress and other health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic, evaluations of principal training programs and personalized learning education interventions, analysis of for-profit college response to increases and decreases in student federal financial benefits, and development of methodology to compare the trade-offs of the number of years included when evaluating worker productivity.

Baird has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).


  • Workers inspecting machinery in a factory, photo by Yozayo/Getty Images

    Job Training Is More Effective When Educators, Government, and Industry Work Together

    The United States is facing economic gaps wider than have been seen in a century. To keep the nation economically strong and able to provide citizens with middle-class lifestyles, educators, government, and private industry need to work together to shape training opportunities.

    Jul 6, 2021 The RAND Blog

  • An employee of a pizza restaurant talks to a customer in Austin, Texas, June 28, 2020, photo by Sergio Flores/Reuters

    COVID-19's Depletion of Entry-Level Summer Jobs Can Have Long-Lasting Effects for Young Workers

    Summer is typically when employment for young workers is at its highest. One of the many costs of the pandemic is lower employment rates. For young workers, it's not just an issue of lost wages; there is also an effect on their personal job history.

    Jul 6, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • A TV reporter wearing a mask, photo by brightstars/Getty Images

    Don't Make the Pandemic Worse with Poor Data Analysis

    The need for immediate answers in the face of severe public health and economic distress may create a temptation to relax statistical standards. But urgency should not preclude expert analysis and honest assessments of uncertainty. Mistaken assumptions could lead to counterproductive actions.

    May 6, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Researchers looking at data, photo by GaudiLab/Getty Images

    Research Rigor Is Undermined by Translating Into Years of Learning

    The research field increasingly recognizes that we need metrics that everyone can understand. Translating the result into years of learning has become a popular approach, but this metric has major flaws. There are better options.

    Jul 5, 2019 Education Week

  • Woman chopping vegetables in a restaurant kitchen

    California's Tourism Industry: A Launching Pad for New Careers

    Travel and tourism jobs in California often serve as an entry point for those outside the paid labor force. Nearly 55 percent leave the industry within a few years, some of whom move to another industry but keep the same occupation. Others change occupations as they change industries.

    Jun 29, 2017 The RAND Blog