Michael Lovenheim is a senior fellow (adjunct) at the Hoover Institution and a professor of economics, public policy, and industrial and labor relations at Cornell University. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Economics of Education and Public Economics working groups as well as a CESifo Network Fellow in Economics of Education. He earned a BA in economics from Amherst College in 2000 and a PhD in economics from the University of Michigan in 2007, after which he spent two years as a Searle Freedom Trust Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

Lovenheim has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals on policy-relevant empirical questions in the economics of education and local public finance. His education research examines questions related to how household resources affect higher education investment decisions; how postsecondary institutions respond to public policy and influence student educational and labor market outcomes; the labor market return on student educational investment decisions; and inequality in higher education. Recent work explores the effect of state higher education funding on student educational attainment and long-run financial outcomes; the effect of college major choices on student earnings; and the productivity of for-profit colleges. His research on K–12 education focuses on issues related to teacher labor markets, such as the impact of teachers’ unions on school districts and students as well as the effect of teacher performance pay. In 2017 he coauthored (with Sarah Turner) Economics of Education, the first comprehensive textbook on this subject.

His research on local public finance focuses on cross-border tax avoidance behaviors and how they impact the effectiveness of state regulatory policies related to cigarettes and alcohol. He additionally has conducted extensive research on how housing wealth affects key household investment decisions, such as college attainment, fertility, child health, and wealth transmission across generations.

Lovenheim currently is a coeditor at the Journal of Human Resources and previously was a coeditor at the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. He serves on the Technical Review Panel for the National Longitudinal Study, and from 2018 to 2023 was the Donald C. Opatrny Chair of the Department of Economics at Cornell University.

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