Greetings, thanks for visiting Matthew Pesner's website!
Matthew Pesner is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in the department of economics at Vanderbilt University, and will be on the Job Market Fall, 2021. His research interests lie in the intersection of economic history, public economics, and labor economics.
Matthew's research revolves around understanding the development of public pensions and the safety net in the United States over the 20th century. His current research focusses on understanding how federalizing railroad retirement pensions in the mid-1930's affected retirement decisions, and what we can learn from this about pension incentives and labor supply generally. Other research focuses on significant changes to Social Security and Public Assistance programs in the 1950's and 1960's. In particular, these papers investigate how the state and federal governments interacted to finance these programs, how grants or expansions to Social Security crowded out expenditure on welfare at the state and local level, and which other parties may have gained from these savings.
Matthew has always been interested broadly in the determinants and effects of poverty. In grad school, he has ascertained specific areas in which he can contribute, using modern advances in program evaluation to analyze previous expansions to Social Insurance programs over the mid-20th century, and what we can learn from these events to help improve policy today.
In May of 2016, Matt earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematical Economics from the Department of Economics at Colorado College, he earned his Masters in Economics from Vanderbilt in May of 2018, passed his dissertation proposal defense in March of 2020, and expects to receive his PhD in May of 2022.