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Nathan Grawe

Nathan Grawe

  • Professor of Economics, Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of the Social Sciences, Economics


Nathan is a labor economist with particular interests in how family background--from family income to number of siblings--shapes educational and employment outcomes.  Many of his works study whether access to financial resources significantly limit these important measures of success.  Nathan's recent publication, Demographics and The Demand for Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018) examines how recent demographic shifts are likely to affect demand for higher education and explores how colleges and policymakers may respond to meet institutional and national goals.  In addition to studying how higher education is preparing for demograhpic change, in other recent work Nathan examines how the taxes implicit in financial aid formulas alter female labor force participation.

Nathan has participated in the leadership of Carleton's Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge (QuIRK) initiative and has shared what Carleton has learned through this initiative through invited talks and led professional development workshops at dozens of colleges and universities across the US and Canada.

Education & Professional History

St. Olaf College, BA 1996

University of Chicago, MA, PhD. 2001

At Carleton since 1999.

Highlights & Recent Activity

Selected Publications

Bourne, Jenny and Nathan D. Grawe 2015. “How Broad Liberal Arts Training Produces PhD Economists:  Carleton's Story,” Journal of Economic Education, 46(2):166-173.

Carpenter, Scott D.; Nathan D. Grawe; Susan Jaret McKinstry; and Louis E. Newman. 2015. “Creating a Culture Conducive to Integrative Learning,” Peer Review, 16/17(4/1): 14-15.

Grawe, Nathan D.  2004.  “Reconsidering the Use of Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility as a Test for Credit Constraints.”  Journal of Human Resources, 39(3): 813-827.

__________.  2004.  “The 3-Day Week of 1974 and Earnings Data Reliability in the Family Expenditure Survey and the National Child Development Study.”  Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 66(4): 567-579.

__________.  2006.  “The Extent of Lifecycle Bias in Estimates of Intergenerational Earnings Persistence.”  Labour Economics, 13(5): 551-570. 

__________.  2010.  “Primary and Secondary School Quality and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility.”  Journal of Human Capital, 4(4): 331-364.

__________.  2014. “Toward a Numerate Citizenry: A Progress Report,” Peer Review, 16(3): 31.

__________.  2018.  Demographics and the Demand for Higher Eduation.  Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

__________, Neil S. Lutsky, and Christopher J. Tassava.  2010.  “A Rubric for Assessing Quantitative Reasoning in Written Arguments.”  Numeracy, 3(1): Article 3.

__________ and Casey B. Mulligan.  2002.  “Economic Interpretations of Intergenerational Correlations.”  Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(3):45-58.

__________ and Kristin O'Connell.  2018.  “Using the Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning Assessment (QLRA) for Early Detection of Students in Need of Academic Support in Introductory Courses in a Quantitative Discipline: A Case Study.” Numeracy, 11(1): Article 5.


“Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge in Student Writing.”  2007-2011. National Science Foundation (#DUE-0717604), $499,994.

“Developing a Community of Assessment, Awareness, and Professional Development for Quantitative Reasoning.”  2009-2011. National Science Foundation (Supplemental to #DUE-0717604), $67,351.

“Quantitative Reasoning across the Curriculum: Completing the Cultural Change.” 2008-2011.  W.M. Keck Foundation, $300,000.

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

Courses Taught This Year

  • ECON 264: Health Care Economics (Winter 2020)
  • ECON 111: Principles of Microeconomics (Winter 2020)
Profile updated August 16, 2019

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