Sarah Reber

Sarah Reber

Associate Professor of Public Policy


Ph.D., Economics (Harvard University, 2003)

Areas of Interest:

Economics, Education, Health Care


(310) 825-1960


Office Location:

6339, Public Affairs

Sarah Reber is an Associate Professor of Public Policy in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 2003. From 2003 to 2005, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at UC Berkeley.

Reber is an applied economist trained in public finance and labor economics, specializing in education and health policy. Her work in health economics examines the advantages and disadvantages of promoting competition in health insurance markets.

Reber’s research in education focuses on understanding the educational, social, and fiscal effects—both intended and unintended—of some of the most important policies of the 20th century: school desegregation, the Civil Rights Act, and the massive expansion of federal aid to K-12 education that Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act represented. In addition, she is conducting a randomized-controlled trial of two interventions designed to increase college enrollment among disadvantaged students.



The Quest for a Targeted and Effective Title I ESEA: Challenges in Designing and Implementing Fiscal Compliance Rules
with Nora Gordon, Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, December 2015.

The K-12 Education Battle
with Elizabeth Cascio, In The Legacies of the War on Poverty, July 2013, Sheldon Danziger and Martha J. Bailey, eds.

The Poverty Gap in School Spending Following the Introduction of Title I
(with Elizabeth Cascio), American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, May 2013.

Local Responses to Federal Grants: Evidence from the Introduction of Title I in the South
with Elizabeth Cascio and Nora Gordon, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, August 2013. (formerly “Federal Aid and Equality of Educational Opportunity: Evidence from the Introduction of Title I in the South,” NBER WP 17155).

From Separate and Unequal to Integrated and Equal? School Desegregation and School Finance in Louisiana
Review of Economics and Statistics. May 2011.

Desegregation and Educational Attainment for Blacks
Journal of Human Resources. Fall 2010.

Paying for Progress: Conditional Grants and the Desegregation of Southern Schools
with Elizabeth Cascio, Nora Gordon, and Ethan Lewis, Quarterly Journal of Economics. February 2010. (Online Appendix)

From Brown to Busing
with Elizabeth Cascio, Nora Gordon, and Ethan Lewis, Journal of Urban Economics. September 2008.

Court-Ordered Desegregation: Successes and Failures in Integration Since Brown vs. Board of Education
Journal of Human Resources. Summer 2005.

Paying for Health Insurance: The Tradeoff between Competition and Adverse Selection
with David M. Cutler, Quarterly Journal of Economics. May 1998.



Why and how descriptive analysis informs education decisions, A Guide for Researchers
Description with Loeb, S., S. Dynarski, D. McFarland, P. Morris, S. Reardon, Institute for Education Sciences Applied Research Methods Series. Forthcoming.

Comment on Explaining Trends in High School Graduation: The Changing Elementary and Secondary Education Policy Landscape and Income Inequality over the Last Half Century
by Nora Gordon. In  Human Capital In History, Leah Platt Boustan, Carola Frydman, and Robert A. Margo, eds. 2014.

Review of Sharing the Prize: The Economics of the Civil Rights Movement in the South
by Gavin Wright. In Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Winter 2014.

Review of The Elusive Ideal: Equal Educational Opportunity and the Federal Role in Boston’s Public Schools, 1950-1985
by Adam R. Nelson. In Journal of Economic History. December 2005.



Promoting College Enrollment among Disadvantaged Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Two Low-Cost Interventions
with Meredith Phillips

Did School Desegregation Increase Social Contact between Blacks and Whites? Evidence from Mixed-Race Births
with Nora Gordon

State and Local Fiscal Responses to the Introduction of Title I
with Elizabeth Cascio and Nora Gordon

Do Rising Health Insurance Costs Reduce Employment?
with Gideon Lukens