Tulane Home Tulane Shield logo linking to site home page

The Murphy Institute expanded the Center for Public Policy Research in 2012 with the addition of an Education Research Program, an excellent complement to the Center’s other program areas.

Doug Harris, Director of the Education Research Program at the Murphy Institute, is also Associate Professor of Economics, University Endowed Chair in Public Education, and the Director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans. Harris is an economist whose research explores how the level and equity of student educational outcomes are influenced by education policies such as desegregation, standards, teacher certification, test-based accountability, school choice, privatization, and school finance. His work also focuses on the educational role of factors such as families and neighborhoods and the way in which educational outcomes affect the long-term labor market success of individual students and the overall competitiveness of national economies. In studying these topics, he develops and utilizes innovative research methods, including value-added modeling, mixed methods, and cost analysis. His research is frequently cited in current policy debates and he consults widely on policy matters with organizations such as the National Academy of Sciences, RAND, the U.S. Department of Education, and state education agencies. Prior to joining Tulane University he was an Associate Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Harris will also be working in partnership with the Cowen Institute for Public Education.

Paula Arce-Trigatti is the post-doctoral researcher for the education program. Arce-Trigatti received her PhD in economics from the University of Houston in 2014. Her research interests broadly encompass public economics and labor economics, with a specialized interest in the economics of education. Her current research focuses on the relationship between state-level education policy and student outcomes. In conjunction with her own passion for innovating in the classroom, she is additionally interested in researching the economics of innovation with respect to education, as well as policies related to higher education.

The Murphy Institute

Established in memory of Charles H. Murphy, Sr. (1870-1954), and inspired by the vision of Charles H. Murphy, Jr. (1920-2002), the Murphy Institute exists to help Tulane faculty and students understand economic, moral, and political problems we all face and think about. More important, it exists to help us understand how these problems have come to be so closely interconnected.