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 and social policy relating to children, often in historical perspective. My research has frequently drawn inspiration from major policy and demographic shifts in 20th century America, including the spread of publicly funded early education, passage of landmark federal civil rights and education legislation, and rising immigration. 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

  • Legal Activism, State Policy, and Racial Inequality in Teacher Salaries and Educational Attainment in the Mid-Century American South (with Ethan Lewis).  NBER Working Paper 30631, November 2022.  Under review. [Summary in The NBER Digest]

  • Opening the Door:  Immigrant Legalization and Family Reunification in the United States (with Ethan Lewis). NBER Working Paper 27874, October 2020, revised August 2021. [Updated version, August 2022].  Revise and resubmit, Journal of Labor Economics.

  • 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]