M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Aparna Mathur

Is the US Social Safety Net Delivering On Its Promise? Lessons from COVID-19 and Before 

Thursday, February 17, 3:00-4:30pm (Eastern time)
Register for the online meeting HERE 
This study group is limited to those with a harvard.edu email address.

At this study group, Senior Fellow Aparna Mathur (along with HKS student research assistants, James Bien and Rachel Jacoby) will engage in an interactive discussion about the effectiveness and targeting of pandemic safety net programs as well as traditional safety net programs pre-COVID-19.

Aparna Mathur smiling wearing chesterfield jacket with tan ruffled shirt beneathAparna Mathur is a Senior Research Manager in Economics at Amazon. In this role, she tracks and conducts research to help identify labor and employment related challenges faced by Amazon’s domestic and global workforce, with a view to informing best policy. Prior to Amazon, she spent a year as a Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. She joined the Council as part of the COVID-19 response task force at the peak of the crisis in April 2020 and worked with epidemiologists on the health aspects of the crisis, while also tracking the economic downturn that came with the lockdowns. Prior to joining CEA, for fifteen years, she was a resident scholar in economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. At AEI, she directed the AEI-Brookings Project on Paid Family and Medical Leave, building bipartisan momentum on paid leave, for which she was recognized in the Politico 50 list for 2017. She also co-authored a novel empirical paper on the incidence of the corporate income tax on workers, which became a prominent policy debate during the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. Her academic research has focused on income inequality and mobility, tax policy, labor markets and small businesses. She has published in several top scholarly journals including the Journal of Public Economics, the National Tax Journal  and the Journal of Health Economics, testified several times before Congress and published numerous articles in the popular press on issues of policy relevance, including on her own blog at Forbes. Her work has been cited in leading news magazines such as the Economist, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. She has regularly provided commentary on prominent radio and television shows such as NPR’s Marketplace and the Diane Rehm Show, as well as CNBC and C-SPAN.  She has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2005, and is currently serving on the University of Maryland Economics Leadership Council. She is also on the Board of the National Academy of Social Insurance as well as the National Economists Club. While an M-RCBG Senior Fellow, Aparna will work on a project: Frayed Protection: The U.S. Safety Net and Pandemic Emergency Measures During COVID-19. Her faculty advisor is Jason Furman, Aetna Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at Harvard Kennedy  School. Email: aparna_mathur@hks.harvard.edu