Economists at RAND

Roughly 70 economists, mostly applied microeconomists, belong to the Economics, Sociology, and Statistics Department. They allocate themselves—through an internal labor market—to hundreds of ongoing projects supported by a variety of funders, including government agencies, grant making organizations, and private foundations. Many researchers seek their own funding for their work, and resources are available for writing proposals. Some economists choose to teach or mentor PhD students through the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Economists at RAND benefit from the depth, breadth, and diversity made possible by their numbers. RAND research is often motivated by real-world questions or problems. Researchers study a wide range of issues across multiple fields, sometimes working alone but more often collaborating with others on disciplinary or interdisciplinary teams. The research often involves developing new models or collecting data. RAND economists publish articles in academic journals, edited volumes, books, and peer-reviewed RAND reports.

Job Opportunities

For mid/senior-level economist openings at RAND, see

  • Students raise their hands in the classroom as their teacher reads from a book, photo by monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

    Does Helping John Help Sue?

    Apr 3, 2019

    Isaac M. Opper

    In this article in American Economic Review, the authors present evidence on the spillover effect of teachers. Using the natural transitions of students from multiple elementary schools into a single middle school, this paper provides a new method for isolating and quantifying peer spillover effects of teaching and shows that ignoring these spillovers underestimates a teacher’s value by at least 30 percent.

  • Closeup of a woman's hands holding a menu

    How Calorie Labels on Menus Affect Consumers

    Mar 28, 2018

    Roland Sturm, Haijing Crystal Huang, et al.

    This RAND Report presents findings on how the provision of calorie information on restaurant menus affects consumers. Using an online experiment in which participants chose items from the menus of nine different restaurant settings, the study found that among participants who selected at least one item, displaying calories on menus reduced the energy amount ordered by 30 kilocalories. The study also examined differences by restaurant setting and sociodemographic characteristics of respondents.

Teaching Opportunities

There are numerous opportunities for those researchers who wish to teach. The Pardee RAND Graduate School is the world’s leading producer of Ph.D.s in policy analysis. The curriculum includes graduate microeconomics and econometrics as well as courses in applied subjects like health, organizational economics, education, and labor. RAND economists also teach courses at area universities, including UCLA.

Postdoctoral Training Opportunities