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Dr. Michael Kofoed

Associate Professor



Dr. Michael Kofoed is an Associate Professor of Economics at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York and IZA Research Fellow. His research focuses on the economics of education including the effects of financial aid on student and institution decision making and the influence of peers and mentors on college students. Topics include for-profit universities, the Pell Grant and FAFSA, the Post 9-11 GI Bill, and the Affordable Care Act. His papers have been published in Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Public Choice, Contemporary Economic Policy, and Research in Higher Education. In the popular press, Dr. Kofoed’s research was cited in the Wall Street Journal, Inside Higher Education, Money Magazine, CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, Vox’s The Weeds Podcast, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Dr. Kofoed holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Quantitative Economics from Weber State University.

Visit Dr. Kofoed’s website at

Ongoing Research Projects

Working Papers:

"Zooming to Class?: Experimental Evidence on College Students' Online Learning During COVID-19" (with Lucas Gebhart, Dallas Gilmore, and Ryan Moschitto) (IZA Working Paper 14356) (Submitted)

Media Coverage: Brookings Institution, The DePaulia, Deseret News, Dagens Nyheter (Norwegian),

"Sensitivity of Charitable Giving to Realized Income Changes: Evidence from Military Bonuses and the Combined Federal Campaign" (with Carl Wojtaszek) (IZA Working Paper 14955) (Submitted)

“Do Pell Grants Affect Student Labor Supply?: Evidence from a Regression Kink Design" (Upjohn Institute Working Paper 22-363) (IZA Discussion Paper 15061) (Submitted)

"For Profit and Traditional Higher Education: Does Institutional Control Affect Tuition Pricing and Financial Aid Allocation?" (Link) (Submitted)

Research In Progress:

"Army Enlistment and Free Community College: The Case of Tennessee Promise" (with Celeste Carruthers, Jenna Kramer, and Aaron Phipps)

"An Evaluation of Income Share Agreements: The Impact on Educational Outcomes and the Nature of Adverse Selection" (with Sidhya Balakrishnan, Eric Bettinger, Dubravka Ritter, Doug Webber, and Jonathan Hartley)

"First Generation Students and Peer Effects" (with Todd Jones)

"Making Lemonade Out of Lemons?: The Effects of Unexpected Deployment Extensions on Re-enlistment" (with Lucas Gebhart and Michael Kleine)

"Long Run Career Effects of Same-Gender and Race Mentorship" (with Bennet Hellman)

Publications & Presentations

2022. "Veteran Educators or For-Profiteers? Tuition Responses to Changes in the Post 9/11 GI Bill" (with Matthew Baird, Trey Miller, and Jennie Wenger) Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 41(4): 1012-1039. (Link, IZA Working Paper 13701).

Media Coverage: Wall Street Journal, Inside Higher Education

2021. “A Neighborly Welcome?: Charter School Entrance and Public School Competition on the Capital Margin" (with Christopher Fawson) Public Choice, 188: 75--94. (Link)

2020. "Randomized Peers and Occupation Choice: Evidence from West Point" (with Todd Jones) Journal of Public Economics, 184. (Link)

2020. "Employer-Sponsored Education Assistance and Graduate Program Choice, Cost, and Finance" (with Greg Gilpin) Research in Higher Education 61: 431-458. (Link)

2019. "Does Time to Work Limit Time to Play?: Estimating a Time Allocation Model for High School Students by Household Socioeconomic Status" (with Laura Crispin) Contemporary Economic Policy, 37(3): 524--544. (Link)

2019. "[Job] Locked and [Un]loaded: Evidence of the Effect of the Affordable Care Act Dependency Mandate on Job Lock in the U.S. Army." (with Wyatt Frasier) Journal of Health Economics, 65: 103-116. (Link) (Upjohn Institute Working Paper 19-300).

Media Coverage: Vox's The Weeds Podcast (starts at 46:00 mins)

2019. "The Effect of Same Gender or Same Race Role Models on Occupation Choice: Evidence from Randomly Assigned Mentors at West Point" (with Elizabeth McGovney) Journal of Human Resources, 54(2): 430-467. (Link).

Media Coverage: Interview for JHR Threads, New York Times

2017. "The Effect of the Business Cycle on Freshman Financial Aid" (with Elizabeth Clelan). Contemporary Economic Policy, 35(2): 253-268. (Link)

2017. "To Apply or Not to Apply: FAFSA Completion and Financial Aid Gaps". Research in Higher Education, 58(1): 1-39. (Link)

Media Coverage: Money Magazine, CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, Journalist's Resource, Brookings Institution

Other Publications:

2020. "Where Have All the GI Bill Dollars Gone?: Veteran Usage and Expenditure of the Post 9/11 GI Bill." Brookings Research Paper in Accountability in Higher Education. (Link)