Jesse D. Levin

Principal Researcher

Jesse Levin is a principal research economist at AIR, where he has directed projects investigating school finance equity and adequacy, resource allocation, and educational effectiveness. He currently manages economic evaluations of educational interventions being studied at AIR and serves as the director of several cost analysis/cost effectiveness components of randomized control trial studies of various educational interventions and principal investigator of a study of the Los Angeles Unified School District Student Equity Needs Index. He recently served as the director of a national study of district weighted student funding systems and as deputy director for a national study of Title I resource allocation, both funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Levin also recently conducted studies of the cost of providing an adequate education to students attending K-12 public schools in California, New Hampshire and Vermont, respectively, as well as a comparative analysis of spending in California charter and traditional schools. Past studies he directed include a study comparing charter and traditional school funding in Maryland, high-profile educational adequacy studies in New Mexico and New York, evaluations of state school finance systems in Hawaii, Nevada and Pennsylvania, investigations of educator supply and demand in Oklahoma and Massachusetts, and studies of educational resource allocation and effectiveness both within and across school districts. His work at AIR over the past 18 years has drawn upon his expertise in applied econometrics and quantitative methods.

In addition to his professional research duties, Dr. Levin is also active in California public education at both the state and local levels, serving as an appointed member of the California Practitioner Advisory Group which advises the California State Board of Education, participating in the California Department of Education Technical Design Group, and previously serving as president of his local school district board of trustees (Pacifica School District). In addition, he is a co-recipient of the Association of Educational Service Agencies 2007 E. Robert Stephens Award for the research study Similar Students, Different Results: Why Do Some Schools Do Better? A Large-Scale Survey of California Elementary Schools Serving Low-Income Students. His articles have appeared in Economics of Education Review, Empirical Economics, Labour Economics, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, and Peabody Journal of Education. He also regularly serves as a referee for several peer reviewed journals (Economics of Education Review, Education Finance and Policy, Educational Policy, Empirical Economics and Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness).

Prior to his work at AIR, Dr. Levin served as an economics researcher for the Institute for Research of Schooling, Labor Market and Economic Development (SCHOLAR) in the Netherlands, where he conducted research in the economics of education and labor economics and performed major countrywide studies of the efficacy of class size reduction, the differences in the effectiveness of private versus public schooling, and measuring the rate of return to educational investment.

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Ph.D., Economics, University of Amsterdam and the Tinbergen Institute; M.A., Economics, San Francisco State University; B.S., Economics, University of Oregon