Priscillia Hunt

Photo of Priscillia Hunt
Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in economics, University of Warwick (UK); M.A. in economics, University of Connecticut; B.A. in international commerce, L'Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Montpellier (France); B.A. in international business, Texas Tech University

Media Resources

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Priscillia Hunt is an economist at the RAND Corporation, a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a research fellow of the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). Her research focuses on two distinct areas in the economics of crime: 1) understanding the 'value' of criminal justice-related policies to society, and 2) quantifying the causal impact of criminal justice policies on outcomes. Regarding the former, she conducted experiments to better understand which tax policies and staffing agency practices employers valued more in hiring people with a criminal record. These studies showed employers placed great value on detailed work history information and availability of replacement workers when needed. Currently, she is studying the value of restorative justice practices to society. This work includes estimating people's willingness-to-pay to eliminate criminal records for 1st time, "low-level" offenses. Regarding the latter, Hunt estimated the impact of predictive policing policies in Chicago and Shreveport, Louisiana on crime, and a gun letter campaign on crime in Los Angeles. Hunt is currently conducting an RCT of restorative justice diversion to understand the impacts on criminal behavior. She is also leading a series of descriptive and methodological studies on the relationship between the built environment and firearm violence. Hunt is active on Twitter at @priscilliahunt. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Warwick.

Recent Projects

  • Estimates of Law Enforcement Costs by Crime Type for Benefit-Cost Analyses
  • Experiments into Policies that Incentivize Employers to Hire People with Criminal Records
  • Impacts of a Firearm Letter Program on Gun Violence in Los Angeles
  • The Impact of Chicago's Predictive Policing Experiment on Gun Crime
  • The Impact of Private Police on Crime

Selected Publications

P. Hunt, R. Smart, L. Jonsson, and F. Tsang , Breaking Down Barriers: Experiments into Policies That Might Incentivize Employers to Hire Ex-Offenders, RAND (RR-2142), 2018

Saunders, J., P. Hunt, and J. Hollywood, "Predictions Put Into Practice: A Quasi-Experimental Evaluation of Chicago's Predictive Policing Pilot," Journal of Experimental Criminology, 2016

Heaton, P., P. Hunt, J. Saunders, and J. MacDonald, "Short- and Long-Run Effects of Private Law Enforcement: Evidence from University Police," Journal of Law and Economics, 59(4), 2016

Hunt, P. and R. L. Pacula, "Early Impacts of Marijuana Legalization: An Evaluation of Prices in Colorado and Washington," Journal of Primary Prevention, 38(3), 2017

Hunt, P., J. Anderson, and J. Saunders, "The price of justice: New national and state-level estimates of the judicial and legal costs of crime to taxpayers," American Journal of Criminal Justice, 2016

Jackson, B., V. Towe, L. Wagner, P. Hunt, S. Greathouse, and J. Hollywood, "Managing Officer Behavioural Risk Using Early Intervention Systems: Addressing System Design Challenges for Law Enforcement and Corrections Environments," Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice, 10(2), 2016

Yerushalmi, E., P. Hunt, S. Hoorens, C. Sauboin, and R. Smith, "Exploring the Use of a General Equilibrium Method to Assess the Value of a Malaria Vaccine: An Application to Ghana," Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice, 4(2), 2019

Hunt, P., J. Saunders, and B. Kilmer, "Estimates of Law Enforcement Costs by Crime Type for Benefit-Cost Analyses," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, 10(1), 2019


  • A long line of police squad cars, photo by thall/Getty Images

    Funding—or Defunding—the Police

    With calls to reduce spending on police, a question becomes by how much? RAND researchers studied the average amount taxpayers spend for police to respond to a reported crime. These estimates are available in a new tool that makes it easy to visualize police costs per crime by state.

    Jul 1, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Army medical researchers take part in World Malaria Day 2010, Kisumu, Kenya April 25, 2010

    The Economic Promise of Malaria Reduction

    Better understanding of how malaria reduction affects different households, regions, and economic sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa could allow policymakers to assess alternative intervention strategies and allocate resources more efficiently and effectively.

    Apr 24, 2013 The RAND Blog