Professor of Public Policy & Governance; Adjunct Professor of Economics
Ph.D., University of Michigan
(206) 543-3787

Mark C. Long joined the Evans School faculty in 2004. Long is a professor of public policy and governance and adjunct professor of economics. He holds a Ph.D. and MA in Economics from the University of Michigan. He also holds an MPP from the University of Michigan, and a BA from DePauw University. He is affiliated with several centers including Scholars Strategy Network, West Coast Poverty Center, Center for Education Data & Research, and the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology.

Long’s research examines the effects of public policies (particularly education policy) on economic opportunity and efficient social mobility, with emphasis on estimating the benefits and costs of those policies. His education-related research focuses on: (1) the effects of high school course-taking and school and college quality on test scores, educational attainment, labor market outcomes, and family formation and other behaviors; (2) the effects of college financial aid on college entry and household savings; (3) gender disparities in educational attainment; and (4) the effects of affirmative action and alternative college admissions policies on college entry.

His other research focuses on: (1) the impact of Seattle's minimum wage law; (2) the savings and labor supply responses to complex policy incentives; (3) the effects of altruism on the value of life for use in benefit-cost analysis; and (4) heterogeneity in citizen's preferred social discount rates for use in benefit-cost analysis. He has previously worked on the economics of nursing labor markets and manufacturing firms’ wage and productivity dynamics. Long previously served on the faculty of George Washington University as an assistant professor of economics and public policy and administration from 2002-04. He has publications in numerous journals including The Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Public Administration Review, American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Educational Researcher.

Long was the winner of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management's 2002 Ph.D. Dissertation Award for the Best Ph.D. Dissertation in Public Policy and Management, the recipient of the American Educational Research Association’s Palmer O. Johnson award for “the highest quality of academic scholarship published in one of the [four] AERA journals during the 2008 volume year,” and co-recipient of the 2014 Wilder School Award for Scholarship in Social Equity and Public Policy Analysis (co-sponsored by the National Academy of Public Administration and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs) “for exemplary published scholarly articles that advances the public’s understanding of social equity.”  

Long is a co-editor of Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and is Vice President and serves on the Policy Council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Listen to the interview by David Greene, National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, regarding alternatives to affirmative action in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, aired on April 25, 2014.

Listen to the interview by David Hyde, KUOW’s The Record, regarding the proposal to raise Seattle’s minimum wage, April 24, 2014.

Applied Econometrics
Benefit-Cost Analysis
Economics of Education
Labor Economics
Public Economics
Recent Publications: 

“Generating Hypotheses and Upper Bound Effect Sizes Using a Large Number of School Characteristics and Student Outcomes.”  Forthcoming. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

 “The Promise and Peril for Universities Using Correlates of Race in Admissions in Response to the Grutter and Fisher Decisions,” Report commissioned by the Educational Testing Service.  Forthcoming in an ETS Policy Evaluation and Research Center (PERC) Report.

“Is There a ‘Workable’ Race-Neutral Alternative to Affirmative Action in College Admissions?”  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), pp. 162-183, 2015. 

“Changes in Levels of Affirmative Action in College Admissions in Response to Statewide Bans and Judicial Rulings,” with Grant H. Blume. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(2), pp. 228-252, 2014.

"Who Would be Affected by an Increase in Seattle’s Minimum Wage," with Marieka M. Klawitter and Robert D. Plotnick.  Report for the City of Seattle, Income Inequality Advisory Committee, March 21, 2014.

"Gender Sorting Across K-12 Schools in the U.S." with Dylan Conger.  American Journal of Education.  119(3), pp. 349-372, 2013.

“Gender Gaps in College Enrollment: The Role of Gender Sorting Across Public High Schools” with Dylan Conger. Educational Researcher, 42(7), pp. 371–380, October 2013.

"Jockeying for Position: Strategic High School Choice Under Texas' Top-Ten Percent Plan," with Julie Berry Cullen and Randall Reback.  Journal of Public Economics, 97(1), pp. 32-48, 2013. 

"Effects of High School Course-Taking on Secondary and Post-Secondary Success," with Patrice Iatarola and Dylan Conger. American Educational Research Journal. 49(2), pp. 285–322, 2012.

Major Current Projects:

"Evaluation of Minimum Wage in Seattle and Elsewhere," Co-PI with PI Jacob Vigdor (UW), Co-PI Jennifer Romich (UW), and Co-investigators Scott Allard (UW), Scott Bailey (Washington Employment Security Department), Heather Hill (UW), Jennifer Otten (UW), Robert Plotnick (UW), and Anneliese Vance-Sherman (Washington Employment Security Department). Funded by Laura and John Arnold Foundation, 2015-18, Smith Richardson Foundation, 2015-17, and City of Seattle, 2014-20. Link to study.

"Estimating an Altruism Adjusted Measure of the Value of a Statistical Life," PI. Funded by National Science Foundation and University of Washington Innovation Research Award, 2015-16.  Working paper.

“Evaluation of the Sustainability and Effectiveness of Inquiry-Based Advanced Placement Science Courses: Evidence from an In-Depth Formative Evaluation & Randomized Controlled Study,” PI with Co-PIs Dylan Conger (George Washington U.) and Raymond McGhee Jr. (SRI International).  Funded by the National Science Foundation, 2012-17.  Link to study.

“Exploring Washington’s College Bound Scholarship Program: Sign Up Decisions and the Relationship of Eligibility with College-going and Persistence,” Co-PI with PI Dan Goldhaber (U. of Washington), Funded by U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, 2014-17.

Working Papers:

“Do Completed College Majors Respond to Changes in Wages?,” with Dan Goldhaber and Nick Huntington-Klein.  Revised and resubmitted to the Economics of Education Review.

“College Curricular Dispersion: More Well-Rounded or Less Well Trained?,” with Dan Goldhaber, James Cowan, and Nick Huntington-Klein.  Under review.  Working paper.

“Alice in Discount Land,” with Tyler Davis.  Working Paper.


Courses taught: 
  • PBAF 516 & 517: Economics for Policy Analysis and Management I & II
  • PBAF 518: Applied Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • PBAF 528: Quantitative Analysis II
  • PBAF 529: Advanced Multivariate Analysis
  • PBAF 574: Economics of Race and Inequality
  • PBAF 608: Degree Project Seminar
  • PPM 512: Data Analysis Practicum