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Carnegie Mellon Heinz School Policy Management Information Technology
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Lowell J. Taylor 

Lowell J. Taylor 

Professor of Economics and Public Policy
PhD, Economics, University of Michigan

Professional Background

Lowell Taylor has been on the Heinz School faculty since 1990. He served as Director of the Heinz School Ph.D. Program from 2000 to 2002 and as Associate Dean for Faculty from 2002 to 2005. Prior to coming Carnegie Mellon University, he taught in the economics departments at Miami University and the University of Texas at Austin. In 2000 he worked as Senior Economist for President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers. Taylor holds an M.A. in Statistics and an M.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics in 1989, also at the University of Michigan.


Taylor has twice received the Heinz School’s top award for teaching excellence (1994, 2004). In 2004 he was the recipient (with Martin Gaynor and James Rebitzer) of the Eleventh Annual Health Care Research Award from the National Institute for Health Care Management, awarded for “excellence in original and creative health care research.”


Taylor's general research interests are labor markets, economic incentives within firms, and economic demography. His papers span a wide range of topics, including the economic impact of minimum wage policy, the causes of racial disparity in U.S. labor markets, the economics of gay and lesbian families, and the nature of physician incentives in health maintenance organizations. His work has appeared in leading economics journals including the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics and Journal of Political Economy and also in flagship journals in statistics and demography.

Community Service

In 2000 Taylor took a leave from the Heinz School to serve as Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President, where he covered issues related to labor, health, and education. He has provided research expertise to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, co-authoring a report titled "Food Pantries and Food Pantry Use in Allegheny County" (published by the United Way) that helped shape policy for the Food Bank. His work on minimum wages has received extensive coverage in the national media, as has his work on gay and lesbian demography (e.g., coverage by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post).

Selected Publications

“The Economics of Lesbian and Gay Families” (with Dan Black and Seth Sanders), forthcoming, Journal of Economic Perspectives.
“Why Do Minority Men Earn Less? A Study of Wage Differentials among the Highly Educated” (with Dan Black, Amelia Haviland and Seth Sanders), Review of Economics and Statistics, 88(2), 2006.
"Physician Incentives in HMOs" (with Martin Gaynor and James Rebitzer), Journal of Political Economy, 112(4), 2004.
"Measurement of Higher Education in the Census and CPS" (with Dan Black and Seth Sanders), Journal of the American Statistical Association, 98(463), 2003.
"Monitoring and Motivation: An Analysis of a Field Experiment" (with Daniel Nagin, James Rebitzer and Seth Sanders), American Economic Review, 92(4), 2002.
"Why Do Gay Men Live in San Francisco?" (with Dan Black, Gary Gates, and Seth Sanders), Journal of Urban Economics, 51(1), 2002.
"Demographics of the Gay and Lesbian Population in the United States: Evidence from Available Systematic Data Sources" (with Dan Black, Gary Gates, and Seth Sanders), Demography, 37(2), 2000.
"Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms" (with Renee Landers and James Rebitzer), American Economic Review, 86(3), 1996.
"The Consequences of Minimum Wage Laws: Some New Theoretical Ideas" (with James Rebitzer), Journal of Public Economics, 56(2), 1995.
"Workers as Creditors: Efficiency Wages and Performance Bonds" (with Joseph Ritter), American Economic Review, 84(3), 1994.
"A Model of Dual Labor Markets When Product Demand is Uncertain" (with James Rebitzer), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106(4), 1991.