Elizabeth U. Cascio

Academic Appointments
  • Professor of Economics

  • DeWalt H. 1921 and Marie H. Ankeny Professorship in Economic Policy

Connect with Us

I am an economist specializing in the study of education, public policy, and children's well being in historical perspective. My research has drawn inspiration from major policy shifts in 20th century America, including the spread of publicly funded early education and passage of landmark federal civil rights, education, and immigration legislation. My recent work has focused on childcare and early education and on understanding how policy design, economic conditions, and political voice affect educational attainment and economic mobility.

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Silsby, Room 307
HB 6106


  • A.B. Franklin and Marshall College
  • Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley

Selected Publications

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Works In Progress

  • Teacher Salaries and Racial Inequality in Educational Attainment in the Mid-Century South (with Ethan Lewis).  [Latest versionOnline appendix] [Summary in The NBER DigestJournal of Labor Economics, forthcoming April 2024.

  • Opening the Door:  Immigrant Legalization and Family Reunification in the United States (with Ethan Lewis). [Updated version, Online appendix] Journal of Labor Economics, forthcoming Octoer 2025.

  • Knowledge, Tests, and Fadeout in Educational Interventions (with Doug Staiger). NBER Working Paper 18038, May 2012. 

Policy Writing

COVID-19, Early Care and Education, and Child Development. Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) White Paper, October 2021.

Why Early Childhood Education Matters and Why We Should Pay for It. Milken Institute Review:  A Journal of Economic Policy 23(3): 13-23, Third Quarter 2018.

Public Investments in Child Care.  In The 51%:  Driving Growth Through Women's Economic Participation, eds. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Ryan Nunn.  Washington, D.C.:  The Hamilton Project, 123-142, October 2017.  [Featured in this Oct. 2019 Hamilton Project Strategy Paper.]

The Effectiveness of Policies that Promote Labor Force Participation of Women with Children:  A Collection of National Studies (with Steven J. Haider and Helena Skyt Nielsen).  Labour Economics, 36: 64-71, October 2015. IZA Discussion Paper 9297

The Promises and Pitfalls of Universal Early EducationIZA World of Labor 2015: 116, January 2015.  [Coverage in The Guardian, Brookings]