Mark C. Long


Mark C. Long is a Professor of Public Policy and Governance and Adjunct Professor of Economics.

Beginning in January 2023, Long will become the Dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside.

Long was elected in 2019 to the Washington State Academy of Sciences. He served as the Evans School’s Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs (2018-19) and Associate Dean for Research (2016-18).He served Vice President and Executive Council Member and Policy Council Member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, on the Board of Directors of the Association for Education Finance and Policy , Managing Editor and Co-Editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Associate Editor of the American Educational Research Journal, Interim Director of the West Coast Poverty Center, and Executive Committee Member of the University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology.  Long currently serves as a Deputy Editor of Demography.

Long holds a Ph.D. and MA in Economics from the University of Michigan, an MPP from the University of Michigan, a secondary teaching credential via UCLA, and a BA in Studio Art from DePauw University.

Long’s research examines the effects of public policies 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. He additionally studies: (1) the impact of Seattle’s minimum wage law and the effects of altruism on the value of life 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 American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Journal of Human Resources, The Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Public Administration Review, PLoS One, American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Researcher, and Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

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’s research has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The, Politico, ForbesChronicle of Higher EducationU.S. News and World Report, and numerous other outlets.  Selected highlights:

  • Interviewed by and quoted in “University admissions, public contracting take center stage in Washington’s Referendum 88 on affirmative action,” by Joseph O. Sullivan, Seattle Times, September 30, 2019.
  • Interviewed by and quoted in “Laboratories of Democracy: what Seattle learned from having the highest minimum wage in the nation,” by Matthew Zeitlin, Vox, June 22, 2019.
  • Interviewed by and quoted in “How a Rising Minimum Wage Affects Jobs in Seattle,” by Noam Scheiber, New York Times, June 26, 2017.
  • Interviewed by Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace, “A New Study Out of Seattle Shows the Downside of Minimum Wage Increases”, June 27, 2017.
  • Interviewed by David Hyde, KUOW, “Minimum Wage Increase Hurt Seattle’s Low-Wage Workers, Study Says”, June 26, 2017
  • Interviewed by and quoted in “Are There Good Alternatives to Affirmative Action?”, by Emily Deruy, The Atlantic, June 24, 2016.
  • Interviewed for and research highlighted in: “Here’s What Happens When You Ban Affirmative Action in College Admissions,” by Hayley Munguia,, December 9, 2015.
  • Interviewed 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.

Long, MC. “Seattle’s Local Minimum Wage and Earnings Inequality”. Forthcoming in Economic Inquiry.

Jardim, E, Long, MC, Plotnick, R, van Inwegan, E, Vigdor, J, Wething, H. “Minimum Wage Increases, Wages and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle.” Forthcoming in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. (Includes results from NBER Working Paper No. 23532, June, 2017, and NBER Working Paper No. 25182, October, 2018).

Conger, D, Long, MC, McGhee Jr., R. “Advanced Place­ment and Initial College Enrollment: Evidence from an Experiment.” Forthcoming in Education Finance and Policy.

Long, MC, Goldhaber, D., Gratz, T. “Washington’s College Bound Scholarship Program and its Effect on College Entry, Persistence, and Completion.” Education Finance and Policy, 16 (4), 690–715, 2021.

Long, MC. “Altruism and the Statistical Value of Human Life for Policy and Regulation.” Social Indicators Research, published online, October 2021.

Conger, D, Kennedy, A, Long, MC, McGhee Jr., R. “Effects of Advanced Placement Science Courses on Skill, Confidence, and Interest in Science.” The Journal of Human Resources, 56, 93-124, 2021.

Seeratan, K, McElhaney, KW, Mislevy, J, McGhee Jr., R, Conger, D, Long, MC. “Measuring Students’ Ability to Engage in Scientific Inquiry: A New Instrument to Assess Data Analysis, Explanation, and Argumentation.” Educational Assessment, 25(2), 112-135, 2020.

Long, MC, Bateman, N. “Long-run Changes in Underrepresentation After Affirmative Action Bans in Public Universities.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 42(2), 188-207, 2020.

Goldhaber, D, Long, MC, Gratz, T, Rooklyn, R. “Pledging to Do ‘Good’: An Early Commitment Pledge Program, College Scholarships, and High School Outcomes in Washington State.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 42(1), 110-133, 2020.

Goldhaber, D, Long, MC, Person, A, Rooklyn, J, Gratz, T. “Sign Me Up: The Factors Predicting Students’ Enrollment in An Early Commitment Scholarship Program?.” AERA Open, 2019.

Long, MC, Conger, D, McGhee Jr., R. “Life on the Frontier of AP Expansion: Can Schools in Less-Resourced Communities Successfully Implement AP Science Courses?” Educational Researcher 48(6), 356 –368, 2019.

Buszkiewicz, J, House, C, Aggarwal, A, Long, M, Drewnowski, A, Otten J. “The Impact of a City-Level Minimum Wage Policy on Supermarket Food Prices by Food Quality Metrics: A Two-year Follow Up Study.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(1), 2019.

Spoden, AL, Buszkiewicz, JH, Drewnowski, A, Otten, J, Long MC. “Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance did not affect supermarket food prices by processing category.” Public Health Nutrition, Published online: 07 February 2018.

Otten, J, Buszkiewicz, JH, Tang, W, Aggarwal, A, Long, MC, Vigdor, J, and Drewnowski, A. “The Impact of a City-Level Minimum-Wage Policy on Supermarket Food Prices in Seattle- King County” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(9), 2017.

Long, MC, Krause, E. “Altruism by Age and Social Proximity.” PLoS One, 12(8), 1-24, August 24, 2017.

Long, MC. “Generating Hypotheses and Upper Bound Effect Sizes Using a Large Number of School Characteristics and Student Outcomes.” Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9(1), 128-147, 2016.

Long, MC, Goldhaber, D, Huntington-Klein, N. “Do Completed College Majors Respond to Changes in Wages?” Economics of Education Review, 49, 1–14, 2015.

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

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.

“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. Study Description

“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.  “Exploring Washington’s College Bound Scholarship Program” Study Description


Long, MC, Pelletier, E, Romich, J. “Constructing Monthly Quasi-Residential Locations of Adults Using Merged State Administrative Data”. Revision and resubmission requested by Population Studies.

Long, MC, Rooklyn, J. “Regression(s) Discontinuity.”

Sell, A, Long MC, “Does the Introduction of Charter Schools Lead to Widening Inequality in Achievement within School Districts?”

Jardim, E, Long, MC, Plotnick, R, van Inwegen, E, Vigdor, J, Wething, H. “Boundary Discontinuity Methods in the Presence of Policy Spillovers.”

Goldhaber, D, Cowan, J, Long, MC, Huntington-Klein, N. “College Curricular Dispersion: More Well-Rounded or Less Well Trained?”

Long, MC. “A Simple Machine Learning Approach for Program Evaluators Investigating Heterogeneity.”

Long, MC, Davis, T. “Evaluating Public Projects Given Heterogeneous Discount Factors Using Prospective and Retrospective Analyses.”

Long, MC, Kennedy, A. “Optimal Spatial Distribution of Colleges.”


Research & News Highlights

Centers and Initiatives