Jeffrey B. Wenger

Photo of Jeffrey Wenger
Senior Policy Researcher
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in policy analysis, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; B.A. in mathematics, University of California, Santa Cruz

Media Resources

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Jeffrey Wenger is a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. His current research examines the effects of working conditions on remaining in the labor force, and the transitions of military personnel into the civilian labor force. He is also leading a project on long-term unemployment among late-career workers. From 2003 to 2015 Wenger was an assistant and then associate professor at the University of Georgia where he taught econometrics, statistics, economics, and policy evaluation. From 2013 to 2015 he was also an NIH/NIA Research Fellow in the Study of Aging at RAND in Santa Monica. Wenger's primary expertise is in unemployment insurance; he has published studies in the areas of UI financing, automatic triggers for extending UI benefits, and the role of information on UI application rates. Wenger is also interested in issues of retirement and the role of business cycles on retirement savings. He has published research on the asynchronicity of stock and labor markets and its effects on retirement savings and research on preference heterogeneity and its role on savings rates and borrowing options in defined contribution plans. He received his Ph.D. in policy analysis from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Faculty Fellow, School of Public Affairs, American University, Washington DC


  • People rally at the Poor People's Campaign Moral Monday demonstration near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., August 2, 2021, photo by Bryan Olin Dozier/Reuters

    Is the Fight for $15 Going to Cost Low-Wage Workers Their Health Insurance?

    Minimum wage increases can lead to reductions in employer-sponsored health insurance for some workers and their dependents. If policymakers want to raise the minimum wage, they should look beyond standard labor market outcomes and take into account other potential effects.

    Oct 11, 2021 Newsweek

  • Illustration of two pairs of legs and feet with one on a stack of books, photo by erhui1979/Getty Images

    Most Americans Consider Themselves Middle-Class. But Are They?

    There are different ways of determining who should be considered middle-class. But there is one thing they have in common: All reveal that the middle class in the United States is shrinking.

    May 14, 2021 ProMarket

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Miami Beach, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    38 Million Have Applied for Unemployment—but How Many Have Received Benefits?

    Unemployment Insurance may need substantial reform to its application process, but it has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment disaster. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the new program intended for workers who are not part of the employer tax base, has not.

    Jun 1, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • A man speaks with a library worker after receiving an unemployment form in Hialeah, Florida, April 8, 2020, photo by Marco Bello/Reuters

    Is the Unemployment Rate Now Higher Than It Was in the Great Depression?

    The extent of COVID-19's effect on the labor market will be catastrophic for many workers and businesses. Matching the unemployment rate peak set by the Great Depression is not even necessary to establish the historic nature of the downturn that we're living through.

    May 7, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • Residents carry boxes of free groceries distributed at a pop-up food pantry by the Massachusetts Army National Guard in Chelsea, Massachusetts, April 24, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    The Second Wave of COVID Consequences

    Economists closely watch measures of consumer confidence because they are highly predictive economic indicators. New consumer data reveals likely long-term and prolonged economic fallout.

    Apr 24, 2020 The RAND Blog

  • A stressed businesswoman holds her head in her hands

    Many Americans Face Bullying, Harassment, and Abuse at Work, but Bosses Can Help

    Workers are experiencing high levels of hostile behaviors at work. Nearly one in five American workers have been subjected to some form of verbal abuse, unwanted sexual attention, threats, or humiliating behavior at work, with younger non-college educated workers bearing the most risk.

    Aug 30, 2017 The RAND Blog

  • Audience members cheer during a union rally for higher minimum wages in New York City, New York, January 4, 2016

    Working for $7.25 an Hour: Exploring the Minimum Wage Debate

    Critics of raising the minimum wage argue that proponents are ignoring the laws of supply and demand, that it would generate unemployment. Recent theory suggests that increasing wages results in higher quality workers entering the market and improving the quality of the employee-employer match, raising productivity and lowering turnover.

    Sep 1, 2016 The RAND Blog

  • Businesswoman working late in an office

    One in Five Hourly Employees Working Overtime Not Properly Compensated

    Most laws as old as the Fair Labor Standards Act regularly need tuning up. But its overtime provisions are complicated because some workers are exempt from being covered. A survey of more than 1,500 employed adults finds that employers are violating the rules.

    Sep 4, 2015 The RAND Blog