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.