Kathryn A. Edwards

Photo of Kathryn Edwards
Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Washington Office

Education

Ph.D. in economics, University of Wisconsin at Madison; M.S. in economics, University of Wisconsin at Madison; B.A. in economics, government, plan ii (humanities), University of Texas at Austin

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.

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Overview

Kathryn Anne Edwards (she/her) is an economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research spans diverse areas of public policy, including unemployment insurance (UI); the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education pipeline and labor market; the financial resources available to unemployed households; the challenges in retirement facing older Americans; and labor market issues for workers without a college degree. She has worked on projects for the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe program and the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, as well as on research grants funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Insitute of Aging.

Edwards completed her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin. While a student, she was a National Institute of Aging Trainee at the Center for Demography and Human Ecology, a graduate fellow of the Institute for Research on Poverty, and a summer fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago through the Committee for the Study of Women in the Economics Profession.

Pardee RAND Graduate School Courses

Recent Projects

  • National Guard Youth Challenge: Metrics for Measuring Program Outcomes
  • Puerto Rico Economic & Disaster Recovery Plan: Integration & Analytic Support
  • Leaky Pipeline for Mid-Career Female STEM Doctorates
  • An Investigation of the Effect of Social Security Disability Insurance on the Health of Non-Disabled Spouses
  • Compensation and Benefits for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Positions in the Private and Public Sectors

Selected Publications

Kathryn Anne Edwards, "Who Helps the Unemployed? Workers' Receipt of Public and Private Cash Transfers," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, 9(1), 2020

Kathryn Anne Edwards; Jeffrey B Wenger, "Parents of an Unemployed Child: Labor Supply, Consumption, and Savings Effects," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, 8(1), 2019

Jennifer L. Scott, Kathryn Anne Edwards, and Alexandra Stanczyk, "Moonlighting to the Side Hustle: The effect of working an extra job on household poverty for households with less formal education," Families in Society, 101(3), 2020

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: Bloomberg Radio; KCBS-AM; SkimmThis

Commentary

  • Illustration of a diverse group of women, photo by Ada Yokota/Getty Images

    Sitting It Out? Or Pushed Out? Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers

    Added to longstanding challenges such as securing child care and combatting pay disparities, the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic has hit women workers measurably harder than men. The consequences make clear just how much policy has failed to keep up with women's progress.

    Oct 23, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Illustration of two men blowing up red balloons with dollar signs, one is large and the other is small, photo by erhui1979/Getty Images

    A $2.5 Trillion Question: What If Incomes Grew Like GDP Did?

    Income inequality is an aspect of economics that resonates with many Americans: It feels like the rich are getting richer, while the rest are having a hard time just getting by. What would income distribution look like today if incomes grew apace with the economy?

    Oct 6, 2020 ProMarket

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Hialeah, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    'Holes Just Big Enough': Unemployment's History with Black Workers

    There's a longstanding accusation leveled at the U.S. unemployment insurance system that has been revived lately: that it's structurally racist, deliberately discriminatory from the outset, and remains so today. That claim has been met with doubt. But underlying the debate is a legitimate question: Why doesn't unemployment insurance treat all workers and all earnings the same?

    Oct 5, 2020 Los Angeles Times

  • A sushi chef waits for diners as Miami-Dade County allows indoor servicing in restaurants after easing some lockdown measures in Miami, Florida, August 31, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    For Leisure and Hospitality, Weak Recovery Still Looks Like Recession

    By most measures, the workers hardest hit by pandemic shutdowns were those in the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services. These jobs, which are still affected by government social distancing regulations, are not all likely to come back before the pandemic truly ends.

    Sep 4, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • People line up outside Kentucky Career Center prior to its opening to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    What Unemployment Statistics Obscure About Temporary Layoffs

    As the broadest COVID-19 shutdowns were underway this spring, a historic number of American workers entered temporary layoff. Those temporary layoffs represent an economy put on pause. What has happened to them since then tells us if the economy can hit play again.

    Aug 17, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • People line up outside a career center, hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claims, Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Is the U.S. Stuck with a Fixed Add-On for Unemployment?

    When COVID-19 led to millions of Americans losing their jobs, Congress moved to increase unemployment benefits by $600 a week. What should happen when those extra benefits expire?

    Jul 23, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Whitney Maddox and DeShaun Bradford stand in line with hundreds of others outside a career center in Frankfort, Kentucky, hoping for assistance with their unemployment claim, June 18, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    The Racial Disparity in Unemployment Benefits

    Economic racial inequality in America cannot be solved through unemployment insurance, but it certainly shouldn't be exacerbated by it. And yet, Black workers are less financially supported during unemployment, simply by virtue of where they live.

    Jul 15, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Mother working at home while caring for a toddler, photo by kate_sept2004/Getty Images

    Working Moms at Risk of Being Left Behind in Economic Recovery

    Being a working parent was hard enough before the pandemic. If COVID-19 intensifies the perception that parenting is at odds with work, then there may be devastating career consequences for working mothers.

    Jun 11, 2020 United Press International

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Miami Beach, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    38 Million Have Applied for Unemployment—but How Many Have Received Benefits?

    Unemployment Insurance may need substantial reform to its application process, but it has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment disaster. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the new program intended for workers who are not part of the employer tax base, has not.

    Jun 1, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Hialeah, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Is the Unemployment Rate Now Higher Than It Was in the Great Depression?

    The extent of COVID-19's effect on the labor market will be catastrophic for many workers and businesses. Matching the unemployment rate peak set by the Great Depression is not even necessary to establish the historic nature of the downturn that we're living through.

    May 7, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Residents carry boxes of free groceries distributed at a pop-up food pantry by the Massachusetts Army National Guard in Chelsea, Massachusetts, April 24, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    The Second Wave of COVID Consequences

    Economists closely watch measures of consumer confidence because they are highly predictive economic indicators. New consumer data reveals likely long-term and prolonged economic fallout.

    Apr 24, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda checks in to a council meeting by phone due to the council's temporary work from home policy during the COVID-19 outbreak in Seattle, Washington, March 23, 2020, photo by Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

    Parenting Through the Pandemic: Who's Working, Who's Caring for the Kids, and What Policies Might Help

    To help inform policy decisions that could help working parents affected by COVID-19, we examined the U.S. Department of Labor's Current Population Survey and recent coronavirus relief acts. Our review shows us what aid working parents might expect and what kinds of aid policymakers might consider going forward.

    Apr 8, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • People wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of COVID-19 at an Arkansas Workforce Center in Fort Smith, Arkansas, April 6, 2020, photo by Nick Oxford/Reuters

    Millions Need Unemployment Benefits. Unfortunately, the Delivery System Is Broken

    More than 10 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in March as businesses closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Washington's stimulus package enacted welcome measures to tide people over, but these temporary fixes don't address some serious structural problems.

    Apr 6, 2020 Los Angeles Times

  • Man at home working on a computer, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Should the Federal Workforce Stay Remote? Planning for After the Crisis

    As physical distancing becomes the new norm, so too does telework. But should federal agencies maintain their remote operations for the long haul? As those of us involved with national security agencies, operations, and workforce issues know, this is not a decision to make lightly.

    Apr 3, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • A man wears a mask while walking past the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, March 17, 2020, photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    The Social Distancing Economy: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Congress and the White House are weighing economic policies to help people acutely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are insights from RAND experts on what might be effective in terms of fiscal policy, stimulus spending, and emergency relief to affected workers.

    Mar 18, 2020

  • Young woman saving for her education, photo by andresr/Getty Images

    Income Share Agreements: What's Risky, What's Promising, and What We Still Need to Know

    While policymakers debate options to address college affordability and the nation's mounting student loan debt, an alternative education financing model has been gaining ground in a handful of schools and state legislatures: the income share agreement. While terms vary from institution to institution, they are all based on the same premise: The more income a graduate makes, the more they will pay back.

    Jun 5, 2019 The RAND Blog

  • Top view of a young man with a stack of overdue bills

    What Keeps Millennials Awake at Night Could Change Over Time

    Millennials are less worried than baby boomers about national security topics and more worried about kitchen table issues, such as making ends meet each month and paying off debts. But this may have less to do with the fact that they are millennials and more to do with the fact that millennials are young.

    Jul 30, 2018 United Press International

  • A young woman holding pliers as she makes jewelry

    Why More Young Workers Are Relying on Financial Help from Parents

    As today's young adults grapple with a difficult job market, high tuition costs, and rapidly rising rents, parents are increasingly providing financial support and other forms of assistance.

    Aug 31, 2017 The RAND Blog

Publications