Stephanie Riegg Cellini

Stephanie Cellini
Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration, and Economics
School of Media and Public Affairs
805 21st St. NW
Washington, DC 20052
[email protected]
Personal Website

Areas of Expertise

  • Labor economics
  • Education policy
  • Postsecondary education
  • For-profit colleges
  • Federal student aid

Professor Stephanie Cellini's research interests include education policy, labor economics, and public finance.  Recent papers focus on the labor market returns to a for-profit college education and the responses of for-profit postsecondary institutions to changes in federal and state financial aid programs.  Other work examines competition in the two-year college market and the value of school quality and facility investments in K-12 education.  Professor Cellini's work has been published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and the American Economic Journal: Policy, among others.  Professor Cellini teaches cost-benefit analysis and economics for public decision-making in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University.  She received her MA and Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a BA in public policy from Stanford University.


PhD, Economics, University of California, Los Angeles
MA, Economics, University of California, Los Angeles
BA, Public Policy, Stanford University



Selected Publications

“Gainfully Employed? Assessing the Employment and Earnings of For-Profit College Students Using Administrative Data” (with Nicholas Turner), Journal of Human Resources (forthcoming).

“The Case for Limiting Federal Student Aid to For-Profit Colleges” (with Cory Koedel), Journal of Policy Analysis and Management: Point/Counterpoint, Fall 2017, 36(4): 934-942.

“High Costs, Low Resources, and Missing Information: Explaining Student Borrowing in the For-Profit Sector” (with Rajeev Darolia), Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, May 2017, 671(1): 92-112.

“The Labor Market Returns to a For-Profit College Education” (with Latika Chaudhary), Economics of Education Review, December 2014, 43: 125-140.

“Does Federal Student Aid Raise Tuition? New Evidence on For-Profit Colleges”(with Claudia Goldin), American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, November 2014, 6(4): 174-206.

“School Quality and Information Disclosure: Evidence from the Housing Market” (with Paul Carrillo and Richard Green), Economic Inquiry, July 2013, 51(3): 1809-1828.

“For-Profit Higher Education: An Assessment of Costs and Benefits” National Tax Journal, March 2012, 65(1): 153-180.

“Financial Aid and For-Profit Colleges: Does Aid Encourage Entry?” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Summer 2010, 29(3): 526-552.

“The Value of School Facility Investments: Evidence from a Dynamic Regression Discontinuity Design” (with  Fernando Ferreira and  Jesse Rothstein), Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2010, 125(1): 215-261.

“Crowded Colleges and College Crowd-Out: The Impact of Public Subsidies on the Two-Year College Market,” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, August 2009, 1(2): 1-30.

“The Dynamics of Poverty in the United States: A Review of Data, Methods, and Findings” (with Signe-Mary McKernan and  Caroline Ratcliffe) Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Summer 2008, 27(3): 577-605.

“Causal Inference and Omitted Variable Bias in Financial Aid Research: Assessing Solutions,” Review of Higher Education, Spring 2008, 31(3): 329-354.

“Smoothing the Transition to College? The Effect of Tech-Prep Programs on Educational Attainment,” Economics of Education Review, August 2006, 25(4): 394-411.

“School Quality, Neighborhoods, and Housing Prices” (with Thomas J. Kane and Douglas O. Staiger), American Law and Economics Review,Summer 2006, 8(2): 183-212.


Demography, Education, and the Workforce (with Robert I. Lerman), Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2009: 167 pages.


Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Economics of Education Program

Nonresident Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution, Governance Studies

Associate Editor, Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press

Classes Taught

PPPA 6003  Economics for Public Decision-Making
PPPA 6015  Benefit-Cost Analysis