Parag Pathak

Parag Pathak is the Jane Berkowitz Carlton and Dennis William Carlton Professor of Microeconomics at MIT, found­ing co-director of the NBER Working Group on Market Design, and founder of MIT’s School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative (SEII), a lab­o­ra­tory focused on edu­ca­tion, human cap­i­tal, and the income dis­tri­b­u­tion.  In 2005, based on work in his PhD the­sis, Boston’s school com­mit­tee adopted a new mech­a­nism for stu­dent place­ment, cit­ing the desire to make it eas­ier for par­tic­i­pants to nav­i­gate and to level the play­ing field for the city’s fam­i­lies.  He has also helped to design the Chicago, Denver, Newark, New Orleans, New York, and Washington DC school choice systems.

His work on mar­ket design and edu­ca­tion was rec­og­nized with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.  In 2012, he was selected to give the Shapley Lecture at GAMES2012 as a dis­tin­guished game the­o­rist under age 40.   In 2013, he was appointed as Mayor Thomas Menino’s chief tech­ni­cal advi­sor for Boston’s stu­dent assign­ment plan.  Under his direc­tion, SEII pro­vided a for­mal analy­sis of dif­fer­ent alter­na­tives, which even­tu­ally led to the most sig­nif­i­cant change in Boston’s school choice sys­tem since the end of court-ordered bus­ing.  The IMF listed him as one of 25 top econ­o­mists under age 45 in 2014.  He was awarded the 2016 Social Choice and Welfare as the top young scholar in social choice and wel­fare eco­nom­ics together with Fuhito Kojima.  In addi­tion to gen­er­at­ing aca­d­e­mic pub­li­ca­tions that study, develop, and test dif­fer­ent stu­dent assign­ment sys­tems, Pathak’s research work has directly affected the lives of over one mil­lion pub­lic school students.

Pathak also stud­ies K-12 edu­ca­tion and urban eco­nom­ics.  He has authored lead­ing stud­ies on char­ter schools, high school reform, selec­tive edu­ca­tion, and school choice.  In urban eco­nom­ics, he has mea­sured the effects of fore­clo­sures on house prices and how the hous­ing mar­ket reacted to the end of rent con­trol in Cambridge MA.

Pathak’s research has been sup­ported by research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy.  He has served as an Associate Editor at the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Econometrica.

Pathak is a mem­ber of the sci­en­tific advi­sory board of the Institute for Innovation in Public School Choice, a non-profit which pro­vides assis­tance to dis­tricts on school assignment.