Alicia Sasser Modestino

Alicia Sasser Modestino

Nonresident Fellow – Brookings Metro

Alicia Sasser Modestino is a nonresident fellow at Brookings Metro.  Modestino is an associate professor with appointments in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics at Northeastern University. Since 2015 Modestino has also served as the Associate Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy and as a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Previously, Modestino was a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston where she led numerous research projects on regional economic and policy issues for the New England Public Policy Center. In that role, Modestino frequently advised policymakers and business leaders and testified on key pieces of legislation related to regional labor market and housing policies. In 2015 Modestino served on a Massachusetts state task force aimed at improving the workforce development system to serve populations with chronically high unemployment. Recently, Modestino was appointed by Governor Baker to serve as a board member of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, a statewide public non-profit affordable housing organization that works with cities and towns to increase the state’s overall rate of housing production and demonstrate new and better ways of meeting the Commonwealth’s need for affordable housing.

Modestino’s current research focuses on labor market dynamics including skills mismatch, youth labor market attachment, migration, and the impact of health care reform on employers. Modestino’s work has been funded by both the Russell Sage Foundation and the National Science Foundation and has appeared in journals such as Journal of Human Resources, Labour Economics, Health Affairs, and Regional Science and Urban Economics. Modestino has presented her research at the annual meetings of the American Economic Association, the Society of Labor Economists, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and has been featured in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and National Public Radio. Modestino currently leads a multi-year program evaluation of the Boston Summer Youth Employment Program investigating both the short- and long-term effects of summer jobs on youth employment, academic, and behavioral outcomes using both survey and administrative data in a randomized control trial.

Modestino holds both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, where she also served as a doctoral fellow in the Inequality and Social Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government.

  • Current Positions

    • Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Department of Economics at Northeastern University
  • Past Positions

    • Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
  • Education

    • M.A. and Ph.D., Harvard University
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