Randall Reback headshot

Randall Reback

Professor and Chair, Economics Department


Economics, Urban Studies


Randall Reback is Chair of the Barnard Economics Department and Editor of Education Finance & Policy, a highly-ranked research journal published by MIT Press. He is also a Faculty Affiliate at Columbia University's Population Research Center and a Scholar at the Center for Economic Studies in Munich, Germany.

At Barnard, he has taught such courses as Economics of Education, American Wellbeing, Statistics for Economics, Econometrics, Spatial Analysis in Urban Economics, and Child Health, Learning, and Behavior.

Professor Reback has a particular interest in U.S. education policy.  Early in his career, he was a fifth-grade teacher in East Palo Alto, California.  He is currently working on research projects examining the effects of school-based health centers on children's learning, high school graduation rates, and teen birth rates.  He completed a research report,  Investments in Students’ Physical and Mental Health, part of Stanford University's Getting Down to Facts project concerning the state of California's public schools.  

Professor Reback's prior research has been recognized by grants and awards from the Spencer Foundation, National Science Foundation,  Institute for Education Sciences, American Education Finance Association, and the National Institute of Mental Health.

  • B.A. Economics, M.A. Education, Stanford University
  • Ph.D. Economics, University of Michigan

Research Page


 “Mobility, Housing Markets, and Schools: Estimating the Effects of Interdistrict Choice Programs” (w/ Eric Brunner & Sung-woo Cho), Journal of Public Economics 96, August 2012.

“Fifty Ways to Leave a Child Behind: Idiosyncrasies and Discrepancies in States’ Implementation of NCLB”(w/ Elizabeth Davidson & Jonah Rockoff & Heather Schwartz). Educational Researcher 44(6), 2015.

“Buying Their Votes? A Study of Local Tax-Price Discrimination,” Economic Inquiry 53(3), 2015.

“Under Pressure: Job Security, Resource Allocation, and Productivity in Schools under NCLB” (w/ Jonah Rockoff and Heather L. Schwartz).  American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6(3), August 2014.

“True for Your School? How Changing Reputations Alter Demand for Selective U.S. Colleges.” (w/ Molly Alter). Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 36(1), March 2014.

“The Fiscal Impacts of Charter Schools: Lessons from New York” (w/ Robert Bifulco), Education Finance and Policy 9(1), Winter 2014.

“Jockeying for Position: Strategic High School Choice under Texas’ Top Ten Percent Rule” (w/ Julie Cullen & Mark Long), Journal of Public Economics 97, January 2013.

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