Alan Benson

Alan Benson

Assistant Professor of the Department of Work and Organizations, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Chapter Member: Minneapolis-St. Paul SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Alan

Benson is a Mary and Jim Lawrence Fellow. His research is in personnel economics: the economic analysis of human resources.


Is a Basic College Education Still Worth the Cost?

  • Frank Levy
  • Raimundo Krishna Esteva

In the News

Quoted by David McCann in "Be Wary of Promoting Top Sales Reps," CFO, February 26, 2018.
Quoted by Ian Salisbury in "This is Why Your Boss is Terrible, According to Management Experts," Money, February 22, 2018.
Opinion: "6 Rules to Help You Make the Best College Decision," Alan Benson (with Raimundo Krishna Esteva and Frank Levy), PBS Newshour, April 14, 2015.
Opinion: "How to Manage the Financial Risk of Investing in College," Alan Benson (with Frank Levy and Raimundo Krishna Esteva), Los Angeles Times, December 25, 2013.
Research discussed by Scott Carlson, in "Is College Worth It? Two New Reports Say Yes (Mostly)," Chronicle of Higher Education, November 4, 2013.


"The Economics of BA Ambivalence: The Case of California Higher Education," (with Frank Levy and Raimundo Krishna Esteva), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, August 31, 2013.
Estimates individuals’ and society’s economic returns to a bachelor’s degree and evaluates the quality of beginning a bachelor's degree program as an investment.
"Firm-Sponsored General Education and Mobility Frictions: Evidence from Hospital Sponsorship of Nursing Schools and Faculty" Journal of Health Economics 32, no. 1 (2013): 149-159.
Explores why hospitals provide direct financial support to nursing schools and faculty and offers evidence that technologically general skill training may be made de facto-specific by imperfect and costly mobility.
"Labor Market Trends among Registered Nurses: 2008-2011" Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice 13, no. 4 (2012): 205-213.
Uses recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and registered nurse licensing exam to examine the recession’s effect on the registered nurse labor market and broadly shows how nurse staffing practices adapt to market conditions.
"The Long-Haul Effects of Interest Arbitration: The Case of New York State’s Taylor Law" (with Thomas A. Kochan, David B. Lipsky, and Mary Newhart). Industrial and Labor Relations Review 64, no. 4 (2010): 565-584.

Examines the central debates about the effects of interest arbitration on collective bargaining by using experiences with interest arbitration for police and firefighters under New York State’s Taylor Law from 1974 to 2007.