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

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

More Experts


Priscillia Hunt is an economist at the RAND Corporation, professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a research fellow of the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). Her research focuses on understanding the value of criminal justice-related policies in terms of impacts and economic and social costs & benefits. Currently, she is studying the public's preferences for punitiveness. To do this, she is conducting discrete choice experiments to estimate the public's willingness to pay for: counseling, community service, record-sealing, victim restitution, public accountability, and systems of apology or regret from defendants charged with their first "low-level" crime. Hunt has numerous studies on the effectiveness of police, court, and corrections strategies using experimental or quasi-experimental designs. She is currently conducting an RCT of restorative justice diversion to understand the impacts on criminal behavior, and a synthetic control study on the impact of police deflection. She completed a set of experiments incentivizing employers to hire people with a criminal record to understand the value of work history information and availability of replacement workers when needed. She also conducts studies to determine the costs of the criminal justice system. She was lead author of a study awarded Best Article in 2019 from the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis on the policing costs of reported crime, and another study on courts and legal service costs of reported crime. Hunt is a member of Criminal Justice Expert Panel (NYU Justice Tech Lab and Texas A&M). She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Warwick.

Recent Projects

  • Don't eyeball it: development of a metric to assess balance between the synthetic control and treated units
  • Experiments into Policies that Incentivize Employers to Hire People with Criminal Records
  • Estimates of Law Enforcement Costs by Crime Type for Benefit-Cost Analyses
  • The Impact of Chicago's Predictive Policing Experiment on Gun Crime
  • Impacts of a Firearm Letter Program on Gun Violence in Los Angeles

Selected Publications

Parast, L., P. Hunt, B.A. Griffin, D. Powell, "When Is a Match Sufficient? A Score-based Balance Metric for the Synthetic Control Method," Journal of Causal Inference, 8(1), 2021

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, 12, 2016

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

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

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, 42, 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

Honors & Awards

  • Best Article in 2019, Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • RAND Bronze Medal Award


English; French


  • 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