Alan Benson

Assistant Professor of Work & Organizations, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota
Chapter Member: Minneapolis-St. Paul SSN
Areas of Expertise:

About Alan

I am an Assistant Professor in the Work & Organizations Group at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. My research is on work and employment issues, and especially on the economics of human resources. My recent research has involved working with companies to test the Peter Principle, evaluate the power of bonus pools, and examine how online ratings protect gig workers. My work has been published or forthcoming in the QJE, Management Science, JOLE, JHE, ILR Review, Industrial Relations, and Demography. Press coverage includes NY Times, WSJ, NPR, Washington Post, LA Times, NBC, CBS, PBS Newshour, HBR, The Economist, Financial Times, Times of London, Die Welt, The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg, Forbes, and Time Magazine.


Is a Basic College Education Still Worth the Cost?

  • Frank Levy
  • Raimundo Krishna Esteva

In the News

Alan Benson quoted by David McCann, "Be Wary of Promoting Top Sales Reps" CFO, February 26, 2018.
Alan Benson quoted by Ian Salisbury, "This is Why Your Boss is Terrible, According to Management Experts" Money, February 22, 2018.
"6 Rules to Help You Make the Best College Decision," Alan Benson (with Raimundo Krishna Esteva and Frank Levy), PBS Newshour, April 14, 2015.
"How to Manage the Financial Risk of Investing in College," Alan Benson (with Frank Levy and Raimundo Krishna Esteva), Los Angeles Times, December 25, 2013.
Alan Benson's research on the worth of a bachelor's degree (with Raimundo Krishna Esteva and Frank Levy) discussed by Scott Carlson, "Is College Worth It? Two New Reports Say Yes (Mostly)," Chronicle of Higher Education, November 4, 2013.


"The Economics of BA Ambivalence: The Case of California Higher Education," (with Frank Levy and Raimundo Krishna Esteva), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, August 31, 2013.
Estimates individuals’ and society’s economic returns to a bachelor’s degree and evaluates the quality of beginning a bachelor's degree program as an investment.
"Firm-Sponsored General Education and Mobility Frictions: Evidence from Hospital Sponsorship of Nursing Schools and Faculty" Journal of Health Economics 32, no. 1 (2013): 149-159.
Explores why hospitals provide direct financial support to nursing schools and faculty and offers evidence that technologically general skill training may be made de facto-specific by imperfect and costly mobility.
"Labor Market Trends among Registered Nurses: 2008-2011" Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice 13, no. 4 (2012): 205-213.
Uses recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and registered nurse licensing exam to examine the recession’s effect on the registered nurse labor market and broadly shows how nurse staffing practices adapt to market conditions.
"The Long-Haul Effects of Interest Arbitration: The Case of New York State’s Taylor Law" (with Thomas A. Kochan, David B. Lipsky, and Mary Newhart). Industrial and Labor Relations Review 64, no. 4 (2010): 565-584.
Examines the central debates about the effects of interest arbitration on collective bargaining by using experiences with interest arbitration for police and firefighters under New York State’s Taylor Law from 1974 to 2007.