Jesse Lastunen

Photo of Jesse Lastunen
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


M.Phil. in technology policy, University of Cambridge; M.Sc. in specialized economic analysis, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics; B.Sc. (Tech.) in industrial engineering and management, Tampere University of Technology


Jesse Lastunen is a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at RAND. He holds master’s degrees in technology policy from the University of Cambridge and in economic analysis from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. His dissertation provides new evidence on the impact of digitalization on the economic premium for higher education and technical skills.

At RAND, Lastunen has worked on projects evaluating the labor market effects of autonomous vehicles, the uses of wearable technology in law enforcement, and the costs and benefits of national deregulation initiatives and programs to prevent work-related injuries. He was also a programmer on RAND’s MOBILE project, where he helped develop a general equilibrium model for assessing labor market disparities in the U.S.

Prior to joining RAND, Lastunen was a Fulbright scholar in public policy at the University of Chicago. He has worked for a variety of organizations on technology policy topics, including OECD, Microsoft Research, the Technopolis Group, and the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic. In 2017–2018, he conducted research for the Internet Association as an Internet Economy Research Fellow. Lastunen's research interests include science and technology policy, labor markets, and public finance.

Selected Publications

Benjamin Miller, David Metz, Troy Smith, and Jesse Lastunen, Selecting and Evaluating Case Studies of the Economic Benefits of Research and Services at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health: Case Studies on Personal Dust Monitors for Coal Miners, Improved Ambulance Design, and Amputation Surveil, RAND (RR-4201), 2020

Diana Gehlhaus Carew, Nicholas Martin, Marjory S. Blumenthal, Philip Armour, and Jesse Lastunen, The Potential Economic Value of Unlicensed Spectrum in the 5.9 GHz Frequency Band: Insights for Future Spectrum Allocation Policy, RAND (RR-2720), 2018

Benjamin Miller, David Metz, Troy Smith, Jesse Lastunen, Eric Landree, and Christopher Nelson, "Understanding the Economic Benefit Associated with Research and Services at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health," RAND Health Quarterly, 8(1), 2017

Benjamin Miller, Frank Camm, Marjory Blumenthal, Jesse Lastunen, and Kenneth Miller, Inching Toward Reform: Trump’s Deregulation and Its Implementation, RAND (PE-241), 2017

Richard Silberglitt, Andrew Lauland, Michael Watson, Christopher Eusebi, and Jesse Lastunen, Wearable Technologies for Law Enforcement, RAND (RR-2012), 2017

Honors & Awards

  • Fulbright Scholar, University of Chicago
  • British Council Scholar, University of Cambridge