Randall Akee


Assistant Professor of Public Policy

Home Department: Public Policy


Randall Akee is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Public Policy. He completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in June 2006.

Prior to his doctoral studies, Dr. Akee earned a Masters degree in International and Development Economics at Yale University. He also spent several years working for the State of Hawaii Office of Hawaiian Affairs Economic Development Division.

Dr. Akee is a research fellow at the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). His main research interests are Labor Economics, Economic Development and Migration.

Previous research has focused on the determinants of migration and human trafficking, the effect of changes in household income on educational attainment, the effect of political institutions on economic development and the role of property institutions on investment decisions. Dr. Akee has worked on several American Indian reservations, Canadian First Nations, and Pacific Island nations in addition to working in various Native Hawaiian communities.

From August 2006 until August 2009 he was a Research Associate at IZA, where he also served as Deputy Program Director for Employment and Development. Prior to UCLA, he was an Assistant Professor 2009-2012 at Tufts University and spent a year at the Center for Labor Economics at University of California, Berkeley for AY 2011-2012.

In June 2013 he was named to the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committe on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations.

Selected Research

Published and Forthcoming Papers:

1. “Young Adult Obesity and Household Income: Effects of Unconditional Cash Transfers.” (with Emilia Simeonova, J. Costello, W. Copeland, G. Keeler and A. Angold), forthcoming in American Economics Journal: Applied Economics.

 2. ”The Persistence of Self-Employment Across Borders: New Evidence on Legal Immigrants to the United States”, (with David A Jaeger and Konstantinos Tatsiramos) Economics Bulletin, Vol. 33 No. 1 pp. 126-137, 2013.

 3. “Skin Tone’s Decreasing Importance on Employment: Evidence from a Longitudinal Dataset, 1985-2000.” (with Mutlu Yuksel) Industrial and Labor Relations Review, V. 62, No. 2, 2012.

4. ‘Counting Experience’ Among the Least Counted: The Role of Cultural and Community Engagement on Educational Outcomes for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Students.” (with Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz), American Indian Culture and Research Journal, V. 35 Num. 3,  pp. 119-150, 2011.

5. “Errors in Self-Reported Wages: The Role of Previous Earnings Volatility and Individual Characteristics.”Journal of Development Economics, V. 96, No. 2, Nov. 2011, pp. 409-421.

 6. Ethnic Fragmentation, Conflict, Displaced Persons and Human Trafficking: An Empirical Analysis(with A. Basu, N. Chau and M. Khamis) In Frontiers of Economics and Globalization, (2010). Volume 8, Migration and Culture, Ed. Ira Gang and Gil Epstein, Emerald Publishing.

7.  “Parent’s Incomes and Children’s Outcomes: A Quasi-Experiment with Casinos on American Indian Reservations,” (with J. Costello, W. Copeland, G. Keeler and A. Angold), American Economics Journal: Applied Economics, Volume 2, No. 1, January 2010, pp. 86-115.

8. “Who Leaves? Deciphering Immigrant Self-Selection from a Developing Country,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, October 2009.

9. “Combating Trafficking in Women and Children: A Review of International and National Legislation, Coordination Failures, and Perverse Economic Incentives,” (with Arnab Basu, Arjun Bedi and Nancy Chau),Journal of Human Rights and Civil Society, Issue 2, Fall 2009, pp. 1-24.

10.  “Checkerboards and Coase: Transactions Costs and Efficiency in Land Markets,” Journal of Law and Economics, 2009, vol. 52.

Other Publications

1. Research in Labor Economics.  “Child Labor and the Transition between School and Work”  2010. Vol. 31, edited with Eric Edmonds and Konstantinos Tatsiramos, Emerald Publishing.

2. Institute for the Study of Labor Prize Book.  “Wages, School Quality and Employment Demand David Card and Alan Krueger” 2011. edited with Klaus Zimmermann, Oxford University Press.

3. “O Ke Kahua Mamua, Mahope Ke Kukulu. First the foundation, then the building.” Honolulu Weekly, August 27, 2003.


Parents’ Incomes and Children’s Outcomes: A Quasi-Experiment Using Transfer Payments from Casino Profits
Author: Randall K.Q. Akee, William E. Copeland, Gordon Keeler, Adrian Angold, and E. Jane Costello
Download file: PDF

Young Adult Obesity and Household Income: Effects of Unconditional Cash Transfers
Author: Randall Akee, Emilia Simeonova, William Copeland, Adrian Angold, and E. Jane Costello
Download file: PDF