Robert Santillano
Research Director, UCLA

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areas of expertise
  • Causal inference
  • Education
  • Homelessness
  • Labor
education
  • PhD, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley
  • BA, Mathematics, Pomona College

Robert Santillano is a policy scholar with a passion to improve social services using actionable research. His motivation for this largely comes from his own experiences as a program participant. Although his research interests broadly include any area involving low-income families, he has done most of his topical research on employment-training services, choice in public education, and the impact of restrictive immigration policies. He is especially interested in researching how performance measurement systems and incentives for service providers can be used to encourage continuous improvement with service provision. Before joining the lab, Dr. Santillano enjoyed 10 years as an economist at Mathematica Policy Research where he worked with various federal agencies. His most recent projects there included designing impact studies for regional job training partnerships as well as for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program – both for the Department of Labor. His research has been published in the Journal of Human Resources, Evaluation Review, Industrial Relations, among other outlets. As a California native, Dr. Santillano is committed to fostering longstanding partnerships that improve public wellbeing across the state.

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