Fatih Unlu

Photo of Fatih Unlu
Senior Economist
Santa Monica Office

Education

PhD in economics, Princeton University; MA in economics, Princeton University; BS in electrical engineering, Bilkent 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 media@rand.org.

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Overview

Fatih Unlu is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation. Previously he was a principal scientist at Abt Associates. He has more than 10 years' experience designing and conducting rigorous evaluations of education programs and substantial expertise with randomized control trials and quasi-experimental research designs; management of data collection, cleaning, and analysis tasks; and preparation of reports for research sponsors and broader audiences.

His project portfolio includes evaluations of Early College High Schools, a mentoring intervention that aimed to improve student persistence in college, a coaching program that supports high school seniors in their transition to postsecondary institutions, the Federal Reading First program, interventions that aim to improve academic language proficiency of English Learners, an early reading curriculum, early math interventions, and extended learning time initiatives enacted in New York City and Massachusetts. His work has been supported by grants and contracts from Institute of Education Sciences, National Science Foundation, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, The Boston Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and ExpandED Schools. 

Unlu has presented and written on a wide array of research methodology topics including assessing and improving the generalizability of impact estimates obtained with non-probability samples, conducting design replication studies to identify best practices for quasi-experimental designs, utilizing cross-site variation in experimental studies to estimate effects of mediators, and generating design parameters with existing datasets to guide designs of future evaluations. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness and is a certified What Works Clearinghouse reviewer. 

Unlu holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University.

Selected Publications

Unlu, F., Bozzi, L., Layzer, C., Smith, A., Price, C., and Hurtig, R. "Linking Implementation Fidelity to Outcomes in an RCT," in G. Roberts, S. Vaughn, N. Beretvas, and V. Wong, Treatment Fidelity in Studies of Educational Intervention, Rutledge, 2017

Unlu, F. "Civic Engagement and Education," in D.J. Brewer and L.O. Picus, Encyclopedia of Education Economics and Finance, SAGE, 2014

Porter, K., Reardon, S. F., Unlu, F., Bloom, H. S., and Robinson-Cimpian, J.P, "Estimating Causal Effects of Education Interventions Using a Two-Rating Regression Discontinuity Design: Lessons from a Simulation Study and an Application," Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 10(1), 2017

Reardon, S.F., Unlu, F., Zhu, P., & Bloom, H., "Bias and Bias Correction in Multi-Site Instrumental Variables Analysis of Heterogeneous Mediator Effects," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 39(1), 2014

Edmunds, J., Bernstein, L., Unlu, F., Glennie, E., Willse, J., Smith, A., and Arshasvsky, N, "Expanding the Start of the College Pipeline: Ninth Grade Findings from an Experimental Study of the Impact of the Early College High School Model," Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 5(2), 2012

Olsen, R.B., Unlu, F., Jaciw, A.P., and Price, C., "Estimating the Impacts of Educational Interventions Using States Tests or Study-Administered Tests," National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education., 0, 2011

Gamse, B.C., Jacob, R.T., Horst, M., Boulay, B., and Unlu, F., "Reading First Impact Study Final Report (NCEE 2009-4038)," National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education., 0, 2008

Edmunds, J., Unlu, F., Glennie, E., Bernstein, L., Fesler, L., and Arshavsky, N., "Smoothing the Transition to Postsecondary Education: The Impact of the Early College Model," Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 0, 0 (forthcoming)

Publications