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Lesley J. Turner Ph.D.

Lesley J. Turner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

3115E Tydings
College Park , Maryland 20742
Office Phone: 301-405-3512


  1. Ph.D., Economics, with distinction, Columbia University (2012).
  2. M.A., Economics, Columbia University (2009).
  3. M.P.P., Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan (2005).
  4. B.A., Sociology, Summa Cum Laude, University of Michigan, (2004).


Lesley J. Turner's research applies theory and methods from labor and public economics to topics in the economics of education and broadly considers the role government should play in providing and financing education.

Dr. Turner was awarded the Upjohn Institute Dissertation award for the best PhD dissertation in labor economics in 2012. Her work on K-12 education policy has examined the impact of school accountability measures on student achievement and whether incentive pay for teachers increases student achievement and teacher effort. She has published articles in leading field journals, including the Journal of Labor Economics and American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. Current projects include an analysis of the impact of teacher unionization on student achievement and housing prices.

In work on higher education, she has examined how postsecondary institutions strategically respond to need-based student aid in order to estimate the economic incidence of the Pell Grant Program. A second project tests whether Pell Grant aid affects effort, educational attainment, and borrowing among City University of New York college students.