Benjamin Michael Smith

Photo of Benjamin Smith
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; B.S., United States Naval Academy


Benjamin Smith is a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. His dissertation is on the household financial behavior of Uber and Lyft drivers in Los Angeles. As a researcher at RAND, his work has often focused on issues related to labor, employment, and financial decision making. He has experience in statistical modeling and programming, survey design and analysis, and mixed method research.

Prior to RAND, Smith was a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, where he was deployed to the Western Pacific and Middle East theaters aboard a Los Angeles–class submarine. 

Honors & Awards

  • Rothenberg Dissertation Award, Pardee RAND Graduate School
  • Doris Dong Dissertation Award, Pardee RAND Graduate School


  • A house with energy-efficient solar panels on the roof

    Getting (Solar) Electricity Pricing Right

    Demand for rooftop solar panels is soaring among U.S. homeowners. Meanwhile, states are struggling to adapt a 20th-century electrical grid—and the corresponding cost structure for electricity rates—to this 21st-century reality. This is causing confusion and uncertainty.

    Jul 24, 2017 The Energy Collective