Melody Harvey

melody harvey, h0702
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. candidate 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 a Ph.D. candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at RAND. Her dissertation examines the effects of high school financial education mandates on high-cost borrowing behaviors and postsecondary education decisions among younger, economically vulnerable populations.

Additionally, Harvey is leading a longitudinal study 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. Harvey has significant experience in quantitative analyses, survey methodology, document analyses, and in public policy reviews, formulation, consulting, and analyses. Oftentimes her work has been tailored to policymakers, clients, and research participants as well as academia.

Prior to attending Pardee RAND, Harvey worked as a research consultant, a research assistant, and a survey researcher for several nonprofits serving low-income households and individuals. 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 financially 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