headshot of Jesse Rothstein

Research Expertise and Interest

labor economics, inequality, education policy, unemployment, tax policy, local public finance, teacher quality, segregation, economics of education, labor market, public impact research/scholarship, research practice partnership, partnership research

Research Description

Jesse Rothstein is the Carmel P. Friesen Professor of Public Policy, at the Goldman School of Public Policy, and Professor of Economics, in the College of Letters and Sciences. Much of his work is in two areas: The economics of education, and labor markets. In education, he has studied the identification of teacher quality, school choice, affirmative action, student loans, and college admissions. His labor markets research includes studies of unemployment insurance, of Universal Basic Income. and of the labor market effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit. He has also worked on local public finance and urban economics, with studies on residential segregation and the housing market valuation of school quality and of school facilities.

He directs the California Policy Lab, which pairs experts from the University with policymakers to solve public problems via research using administrative data. Via CPL, he has studied the use of independent contractors in the California labor market, the effect of job training programs on worker employment and earnings, take-up of anti-poverty tax credits, and the use of safety net benefits by college students.

In the News

Simplifying Financial Aid Letters Pays Big Dividends, Says Berkeley Study

A new policy brief released today by the California Policy Lab (CPL) and the People Lab at UC Berkeley shows that making simple changes to Cal Grant financial aid award letters significantly increased the number of California high school students who registered for an online account, a key first step for receiving the grant.

COVID-19 shows fraying U.S. safety net, Berkeley scholars say

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented levels of unemployment and economic uncertainty, and despite strong government efforts to address human needs, continued support and bold policy are essential for the months ahead, top scholars said during a recent event at UC Berkeley.

COVID-19: Economic impact, human solutions

The COVID-19 pandemic is confronting every level of the U.S. economy with an unprecedented challenge, and the government must mount a sustained, ambitious economic response lasting months and perhaps years, UC Berkeley economists said in an online forum today.

COVID-19 stimulus is a good start, but more is needed, says Berkeley economist

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have taken strong first steps to provide economic support to businesses and their workers suffering from COVID-19-related shutdowns and unemployment, said Jesse Rothstein, UC Berkeley professor of public policy and economics. But Rothstein advised that more will be needed to protect vulnerable small businesses and employees from the impact of the pandemic.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
October 5, 2020
Bay City News Service
Three University of California, Berkeley professors will lead the work to create new datasets to better understand poverty and mobility with the help of a $2 million grant. "By constructing these datasets and making them available to a wide array of researchers, we will unlock a generation's worth of new policy research," said professor Jesse Rothstein, co-lead researcher on the project, in a statement. Also leading the project are professors Hilary Hoynes and Steven Raphael. Researchers throughout the University of California system and others will take part in the work.
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January 7, 2020
Catherine Rampell
Economics professor Jesse Rothstein has some cold water to throw on anyone wishing a recession would come along to help evict President Trump from office. "We see over and over again that recessions are worse than we thought," he says. In a working paper he published last year, he wrote about the long-term consequences of the Great Recession, which included young college graduates doing worse in the job market than models of recession would have predicted, with their employment rates far behind those of older students who'd graduated into stronger economies. "It's a once-in-a-generation thing to get this tight a labor market," he says, "and you want to let it rip for as long as it can."
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