Mark Long

Mark C. Long

Professor of Public Policy & Governance and Adjunct Professor of Economics, University of Washington-Seattle Campus

About Mark

Long's research examines the effects of public policies on economic opportunity and efficient social mobility, with emphasis on estimating the benefits and costs of those policies. His education-related research focuses on: (1) the effects of high school course-taking and school and college quality on test scores, educational attainment, labor market outcomes, and family formation; (2) the effects of college financial aid on college entry and household savings; (3) gender disparities in educational attainment; and (4) the effects of affirmative action and alternative college admissions policies on college entry. He additionally studies the impact of Seattle’s minimum wage law and has previously worked on the economics of nursing labor markets and manufacturing firms’ wage and productivity dynamics. Long was elected in 2019 to the Washington State Academy of Sciences is an Associate Editor of the American Educational Research Journal.

In the News

Mark C. Long quoted on the new affirmative-action law by Joseph O’Sullivan, "University Admissions, Public Contracting Take Center Stage in Washington's Affirmative-action Campaign" The Seattle Times, September 30, 2019.
Mark C. Long's research on effect of affirmative action bans discussed by Joseph O'Sullivan, "University Admissions, Public Contracting Take Center Stage in Washington’s Referendum 88 on Affirmative Action," The Seattle Times, September 30, 2019.
Mark C. Long's research on wealth distribution discussed by David Hyde and Teo Popescu, "How Much of the '1 Percent' Lives in Seattle?," KUOW, June 20, 2018.
Mark C. Long quoted on Seattle's $15 minimum wage law hurting hourly workers rather than helping them by Mary Bowerman, "Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage May be Hurting Workers, Report Finds" USA Today, June 27, 2017.
Mark C. Long's research on reduction in hours of higher paying low-wage jobs discussed by Janet I. Tu, "UW Study Finds Seattle’s Minimum Wage is Costing Jobs," Seattle Times, June 26, 2017.
Mark C. Long's research on the impact of a higher minimum wage on earnings discussed by Aidan Quigley, "Seattle's Increased Minimum Wage Has Had Little Effect So Far, Say Researchers," Christian Science Monitor, July 26, 2016.
Mark C. Long quoted on alternatives to affirmative action by Kim Soffen, "The Real Winners of the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling are Rich, White People" The Washington Post, June 23, 2016.
Mark C. Long quoted on affirmative action by Jess Bravin and Douglas Belkin, "Supreme Court Revisits University of Texas Race-in-Admissions Case" The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2015.
Guest to discuss the report that the City of Seattle commissioned on the minimum wage issue on KUOW's "The Record", Mark C. Long, April 24, 2014.
Mark C. Long's research on implementation and student outcomes of changes in AP science tests discussed by Erik Robelen, "Researchers to Study Revised AP Science with NSF Grant," Education Week, October 30, 2012.
Mark C. Long's research on Texas’ top 10% plan discussed by Jess Bravin, "Justices Face a Test on Race," Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2012.
Mark C. Long's research on the benefits of challenging coursework for highschoolers discussed by Caralee Adams, "Research Finds High School Rigor Tied to Success in College," Education Week, February 3, 2012.
"College Does Pay Off, But It's No Free Ride," Mark C. Long, Interview with Carl Bialik, Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on quantifying the value of a college degree discussed by Carl Bialik, "Dollars for Diplomas," Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on the health of Social Security discussed by Jack Mayne, "By the Numbers: Yes, Social Security Will Last – With a Payroll Tax Increase," City Living, September 13, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on the gap between white and minority students in the Texas system discussed by Melinda Burns, "Affirmative Action Bans: Who Gets Hurt," Miller-McCune, January 17, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on the shortcomings of the 10% plan discussed by Scott Jaschik, "Strategic Displacement," Inside Higher Ed, January 11, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on how students can game the 10% system discussed by Peter Schmidt, "Texas’ 10% Plan Found to Influence Choice of High School," Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on how college quality affects later-in-life income discussed by Stacy Berg, "Why Elite Colleges Don't Equal Earnings," Forbes, August 7, 2009.
Mark C. Long's research on some of the overlooked effects of the 10% rule discussed by "10% Admissions – The Full Impact," Inside Higher Ed, April 6, 2009.
Mark C. Long's research on the effects of eliminating race as a factor in school integration discussed by Jessica Blanchard and Christine Frey, "Schools Seek New Diversity Answers after Court Rejects Race as Tiebreaker," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 29, 2007.
Mark C. Long's research on the effects of affirmative action bans discussed by Samantha Levine, "Taking Action to Admit: UCLA Tweaks Its Admissions Process to Stop the Black Student Enrollment Decline," U.S. News and World Report, May 27, 2007.
"CSDE Out Loud Interview Series: Mark Long," Mark C. Long, Interview with David Hyllegard, CSDE Out Loud, June 2009.
"Friend or Foe: Practicing Affirmative Action in the New Century," Mark C. Long, Interview with Scott Andrew Schulz, Center for Enrollment Research, Policy, and Practice Podcast Series, May 2009.


"Gender Gaps in College Enrollment: The Role of Gender Sorting Across Public High Schools" (with Dylan Conger). Educational Researcher (forthcoming).
Uses Florida administrative data to evaluate the role that public high schools play in the growing female advantage in 4-year college enrollment. We find that across-school gender sorting explains 12% and 16% of females' higher rates of enrollment among Hispanic and black students, respectively.
"Changes in Levels of Affirmative Action in College Admissions in Response to Statewide Bans and Judicial Rulings," (with Grant H. Blume), Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference, Fall 2011.
Finds substantial declines between 1992 and 2004 in levels of affirmative action practiced by highly selective colleges in the states affected by bans and the Hopwood and Johnson rulings, and no evidence of declines outside these states (and thus modest and generally insignificant declines nationwide). The decline in affirmative action in these particular states affects the local availability of affirmative action to students who live in adjacent states, particularly when the adjacent states lack highly selective colleges.
"Jockeying for Position: High School Student Mobility and Texas' Top-Ten Percent Rule" (with Julie Berry Cullen and Randall Reback). Journal of Public Economics 97 (2013): 32-48.
Details how, as a substitute for affirmative action in the wake of the Hopwood decision, beginning in 1998, all students in the state of Texas who graduated in the top 10% of their high school classes were guaranteed admission to any in-state public higher education institution. We show that this policy created incentives for students to attend high schools with lower achieving peers, and that among the subset of students with both motive and opportunity for strategic high school choice, at least 5% enroll in a different high school to improve the chances of being in the top 10%.
"Gender Sorting across K-12 Schools in the U.S" (with Dylan Conger). American Journal of Education 119, no. 3 (2013): 349-372.
Documents evidence of non-random gender sorting across K-12 schools in the United States. This sorting is highest in counties with more schooling options and occurs even though parents have similar stated preferences for school attributes for their sons and daughters.
"Effects of High School Course-Taking on Secondary and Post-Secondary Success" (with Patrice Iatarola and Dylan Conger). American Educational Research Journal 49, no. 2 (2012): 285-322.
Uses panel data from a census of public school students in the state of Florida to examine the associations between students’ high school course-taking in various subjects and their 10th-grade test scores, high school graduation, entry into postsecondary institutions, and postsecondary performance. We find substantial significant differences in outcomes for those who take rigorous courses, and these estimated effects are often larger for disadvantaged youth and students attending disadvantaged schools.
"Explaining Race, Poverty, and Gender Disparities in Advanced Course-Taking" (with Dylan Conger and Patrice Iatarola). Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 28, no. 4 (2009): 555-576.
Shows how, while white students in Florida are more likely to take advanced courses than black and Hispanic students, these disparities are completely explained by differences observable in pre–high school characteristics, notably 8th grade achievement test disparities. Black and Hispanic students attend high schools that increase their likelihood of taking advanced courses relative to observably similar white students; this advantage is largely driven by minorities disproportionately attending magnet schools.
"Winners and Losers: Changes in Texas University Admissions post-Hopwood" (with Marta Tienda). Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 30, no. 3 (2008): 255-280.
Finds that the University of Texas and Texas A&M University complied with the Hopwood ruling such that direct advantages given to Black and Hispanic applicants disappeared (and in some cases became disadvantages). While these universities changed the weights placed on other applicant characteristics in ways that aided underrepresented minority applicants, these changes were insufficient to restore Black and Hispanic applicants’ share of admitted students to the levels that would have occurred using traditional affirmative action.