Jason Michael Ward

Photo of Jason Ward
Associate Economist
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in economics, University of Illinois; M.A. in economics, University of Illinois; B.A. in economics, University of Illinois


Jason Ward is an associate economist at the RAND Corporation. His work uses the tools of applied microeconomics to study labor market participation, education, health, and links between these domains. His research has assessed the effect of four-day school weeks on parental employment, the effect of parental involvement laws on abortions to minors, the effects of performance-based state higher education funding systems on student outcomes, the nature of geographic variation in health care utilization, and the association between education and health over the life course. Current projects include developing tools to measure the gap between the earnings of military service members and their potential earnings in the civilian labor market, assessing changes in veterans labor market and health outcomes over time, estimating the willingness to pay (in home price) for multiple measures of elementary school quality in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and estimating the association between unemployment and substance use/abuse using seasonal variation in employment across occupations and industries.


  • Manager Flory Ramirez waits for customers as restaurants are reopened following the lifting of some restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Houston, Texas, May 1, 2020, photo by Go Nakamura/Reuters

    To Preserve Jobs, America's Employers May Have to Get Creative

    With about 38.6 million Americans filing for unemployment insurance benefits since the end of February, it is clear that COVID-19 has turned the world of work upside down. One way to reduce the economic damage may be job-sharing, an approach that focuses on maximizing jobs by reducing workers' hours rather than resorting to layoffs or furloughs.

    May 26, 2020 CNN

  • Protesters calling for rent payments to be canceled amid the outbreak of COVID-19, in Washington, D.C., April 25, 2020, photo by Erin Scott/Reuters

    From Lockdown to Locked Out: Coronavirus and the Looming Crisis in Rental Housing

    Housing security is vital to individual and collective well-being. It's also a key component in the nation's economic performance. The looming coronavirus eviction crisis suggests the need to address the systemic problem of housing affordability and security now.

    Apr 30, 2020 Dallas Morning News