Robert Fairlie

I am a Professor of Public Policy and Economics at UCLA, and a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). I study a wide range of topics including entrepreneurship, education, labor, racial, gender and caste inequality, information technology, immigration, health, and development. I strive for my research to have a broad impact by providing rigorous, unbiased and objective evidence on questions that are important for society and often involve highly-charged policy debates. My methodological focus is on conducting randomized control field experiments, employing advanced econometric techniques and identification strategies, and working with and building large administrative datasets. Publications from my research have appeared in leading journals in economics, policy, management, science, and medicine.


I received a Ph.D. and M.A. from Northwestern University and B.A. with honors from Stanford University. I have held visiting positions at Stanford University, Yale University, UC Berkeley, and Australian National University. I have received funding for my research from the National Science Foundation, National Academies and Russell Sage Foundation as well as numerous government agencies and foundations, and have testified in front of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Department of Treasury, and the California State Assembly. Recent awards and honors include a joint resolution from the California State Assembly, Choice Academic Title award, and the Bradford-Osborne research award in both 2020 and 2021. I am regularly interviewed by the media to comment on economic, education, entrepreneurship, inequality and policy issues.




My new book on entrepreneurship, job creation and survival just came out at MIT Press.





For more information on my research, teaching, and policy work, please visit:


Maximilian Buchholz

Max Buchholz is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Urban Planning and an affiliate with the California Center for Population Research. His research examines the causes of disparities in economic opportunity across cities. A key theme in his work is understanding how the drivers of economic disparities across city-regions also produce unequal outcomes for different segments of the population (e.g. across race, gender, or educational attainment).

Max’s work at UCLA is funded by a National Science Foundation Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. In this research, he is examining whether increasing urbanization within U.S. cities causes racial and gender income inequality to increase.

Max holds a PhD in geography from the University of Toronto, as well as MA and BA degrees in Latin American Studies and history from UCLA and UC Berkeley. Prior to coming to UCLA, Max was the Pollman Postdoctoral Fellow in Real Estate and Urban Development at Harvard. He also spent several years working for a community development organization in Los Angeles where he developed afterschool enrichment programming for high school students from low-income communities.

For more details on Max’s work and publications, please visit

Emily Erickson – GRADUATED

Emily Erickson’s research examines immigrant experiences of urban America with a focus in the areas of low wage work, urban poverty, and the community effects of the deportation fear.

Her dissertation explores how undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles and Albuquerque overcome the fear of deportation to participate in local and national level political movements. This is a continuation of previous work looking at the effects of deportation fear on community life – including research into the experiences of undocumented students at UCLA.

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American history and development sociology from UC Davis and a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from UC San Diego.

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