Matthew D. Baird

Photo of Matthew Baird
Co-Director, Center for Causal Inference; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Economist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in economics, University of California, Los Angeles; B.S. in economics, Brigham Young University


Matthew Baird is an economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research focuses primarily on understanding labor markets to improve outcomes for disadvantaged populations. Examples include evaluating through an RCT a job training pipeline for underemployed workers, evaluation of the STEM education to STEM workforce pipeline for minorities, an evaluation of low-income minority students' access to effective teachers, development of new methodology to evaluate disequilibrium in specialized labor markets and the implications for access to care, and an analysis of dentist location and the rural and Medicaid-insured access to care. Baird's research more generally spans the fields of labor, demographics, and education. His recent and current research further includes evaluating the role of non-wage benefits in occupation and job transition and its relationship to inequality interventions, strategic transfers to qualify for long term care Medicaid coverage, evaluations of principal training programs and personalized learning education interventions, an analysis of for-profit college response to increases and decreases in student federal financial benefits, evaluation of minority timing of STEM major drop-outs in college, evaluating the travel labor industry in California, and development of methodology to compare the trade-offs of the number of years included when evaluating worker productivity. He is co-director of the Center for Causal Inference, and assists with the American Life Panel, leading the weighting and sampling of the surveys. Baird has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).


  • 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