Melody Harvey

Photo of Melody Harvey
Assistant Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.P.P. in economics, Pepperdine University, School of Public Policy; B.A. in economics, Reed College


Melody Harvey is an assistant policy researcher at RAND and recent graduate of the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her dissertation examined the effects of high school financial education mandates on high-cost borrowing and postsecondary education decisions among younger, economically vulnerable populations.

Harvey is leading longitudinal analyses on the antecedents and evolution of financial overconfidence among young adults, and led quantitative analyses of the impacts of a permanent supportive housing program on service utilization and county departments' net cost expenditures. She has significant experience in quantitative analyses, survey methodology, document analyses, and in public policy reviews, formulation, consulting, and analyses. Often her work has been tailored to policymakers, clients, and research participants as well as academia.

Harvey previously worked as a research consultant, a research assistant, and a survey researcher for several nonprofits serving low-income households and individuals. In addition to her Ph.D., Harvey holds a M.P.P. in economics and state and local policy from Pepperdine University, and a B.A. in economics from Reed College. Her research interests include the impacts of consumer, higher education, and social policies on economically vulnerable Americans.


  • A newborn baby rests beside his mother at the Ana Betancourt de Mora Hospital in Camaguey, Cuba, June 19, 2015, the week the World Health Organization declared Cuba the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child

    Doing More with Less: Lessons from Cuba's Health Care System

    High U.S. health care costs do not yield corresponding health outcomes for its citizens. But Cuba, for less than a tenth of U.S. costs, has attained comparable outcomes on many indicators, such as life expectancy and infant mortality. Cuba prioritizes primary care and prevention and addresses social determinants of health.

    Oct 6, 2017 Georgetown Journal of International Affairs