Welcome to my website! I am a Professor of Public Policy in the School of Public Affairs (SPA) at American University, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), and Senior Technical Advisor to Johns Hopkins University's Education Policy Institute. I earned my Ph.D. in Economics from Michigan State University in 2011 and a B.S. in Economics from Drexel University in 2005. I am no longer on twitter :(
I currently have two administrative roles at AU. First, I direct SPA's Analytics & Management Institute (SAMI). This innovative program provides SPA graduate students with the opportunity to learn specific skills such as GIS mapping, policy writing, grant writing, causal inference, data viz, and more from leading experts in the DC area in 1 credit (15 hour) workshops. Students also have the option to take these courses for free (0 credit). Learn more about SAMI here. Second, I am the Ph.D. program coordinator for DPAP. You can learn more about the program here.
My primary research interests are in the economics of education and education policy analysis. Specifically, I am interested in issues relating to teacher labor markets, parents’ and students’ time use, summer learning loss, the causes and consequences of student absences, teacher diversity, and the role of expectations in the education production function. Links to my book, Teacher Diversity and Student Success, and other academic and public writing are provided in the tabs at the top of this page. In the spirit of public writing, I also host two podcasts that aim to distill policy-relevant academic research for the general public. The first is JPAM's Closer Look podcast, which talks to authors of recent JPAM publications about their research six times per year. The second is Mind the Teacher, a five-episode miniseries created with Stephen B. Holt and supported by the Spencer Foundation, which investigates teachers' mental health.
You can find links to my most recent research at my IZA page, which posts IZA working papers. Probably the best collation of my research is on my google scholar page. And PLEASE email me if you'd like a copy of a gated/pay-walled paper: gershens at american dot edu.