Ashlyn Aiko Nelson

Associate Professor

(812) 855-0732
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Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D., Economics of Education, Stanford University, 2005
  • M.A., Economics, Stanford University, 2003
  • B.A. ( summa cum laude) Economics; B.S. (magna cum laude) Business Administration, University of Southern California, 2001


  • Public Program Evaluation
  • Statistical Analysis for Effective Decision-Making


Dr. Ashlyn Aiko Nelson is an economist who studies how housing markets and financial institutions and policies influence the education market. Her research examines the causes and consequences of inequality in the overlapping housing and public education sectors. Nelson's work, funded with support from the MacArthur Foundation and the National Science Foundation, has been published in outlets including the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Review of Economics and Statistics, Review of Financial Studies, Economics Letters, Education Finance and Policy, and Public Administration Review. Nelson joined the O'Neill faculty in 2009. She also holds courtesy appointments in Economics and in Education Leadership and Policy Studies.

Prior to her current appointment, Nelson completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University. In addition to her academic background, Nelson formerly served as Assistant Vice President of Analysis and Information Management at Bank of America, served as the fair lending officer at IndyMac Bank, and earned her teaching credential while teaching eighth and eleventh grade English in the Los Angeles Unified School District.



  • Inaugural Recipient of (2015) Most Personable Award, O'Neill Student Choice Awards
  • MacArthur Foundation. "The effects of housing instability on children's educational outcomes." Award amount: $800,058. 2011-2013.
  • National Science Foundation. "Predatory lending, predatory borrowing, and the mortgage crisis: Evidence from loan-level data from a large bank." Award amount: $624,993. 2009-2011.
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
  • Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Scholar
  • Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings 2013 (ranked among university-based academics who are contributing most substantially to public debates about K-12 and higher education)
  • Scholar-Activist Connect Scholar: Center for Responsible Lending and American Council on Consumer Interests, 2011. Award amount: $1,000.
  • O'Neill Faculty Teaching Award: Excellence in Graduate Instruction (2011)
  • Western Finance Association: Analysis Group Award for the Best Paper on Financial Institutions and Markets, 2010. Award amount: $5,000.
  • Three year Stanford Graduate Fellowship

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