Long

Mark C. Long

Associate Dean of Research, University of Washington; Professor, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington; and Adjunct Professor of Economics, University of Washington
Areas of Expertise:
  • Inequality & the Middle Class
  • Higher Education
  • K-12 Education
  • School Reform
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Women

Connect with Mark

About Mark

Long is an expert in understanding how public policy affects the transition of youth from high school to college, and from college to the labor market and early adulthood. He is particularly interested in racial, gender, and poverty disparities in educational attainment. He has studied why boys are less likely to attend and complete college than girls; disparities in advanced high school course-taking and the effects of these courses on subsequent outcomes; the effects of affirmative action and alternative college admissions policies on college entry; and the effects of college financial aid on household savings. He is currently working on studies that will improve the methods used in benefit-cost analysis of public projects, and in understanding how individual savings and labor supply decisions respond to the complexity of public policy incentives.

Podcast

Publications

"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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 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.
"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.

In the News

Mark C. Long quoted on Seattle's $15 minimum wage law hurting hourly workers rather than helping them in 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 in Janet I. TuMark C. Long, "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 in Aidan QuigleyMark C. Long, "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 in 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 in 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 the effects of affirmative action bans discussed in Samantha LevineMark C. Long, "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.
Mark C. Long's research on the effects of eliminating race as a factor in school integration discussed in Jessica Blanchard and Christine FreyMark C. Long, "Schools Seek New Diversity Answers after Court Rejects Race as Tiebreaker," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 29, 2007.
Mark C. Long's research on some of the overlooked effects of the 10% rule discussed in "10% Admissions – The Full Impact," Inside Higher Ed, April 6, 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.
"CSDE Out Loud Interview Series: Mark Long," Mark C. Long, Interview with David Hyllegard, CSDE Out Loud, June 2009.
Mark C. Long's research on how college quality affects later-in-life income discussed in Stacy BergMark C. Long, "Why Elite Colleges Don't Equal Earnings," Forbes, August 7, 2009.
Mark C. Long's research on how students can game the 10% system discussed in Peter SchmidtMark C. Long, "Texas’ 10% Plan Found to Influence Choice of High School," Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on the shortcomings of the 10% plan discussed in Scott JaschikMark C. Long, "Strategic Displacement," Inside Higher Ed, January 11, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on the gap between white and minority students in the Texas system discussed in Melinda BurnsMark C. Long, "Affirmative Action Bans: Who Gets Hurt," Miller-McCune, January 17, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on the health of Social Security discussed in Jack MayneMark C. Long, "By the Numbers: Yes, Social Security Will Last – With a Payroll Tax Increase," City Living, September 13, 2011.
Mark C. Long's research on quantifying the value of a college degree discussed in Carl BialikMark C. Long, "Dollars for Diplomas," Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2011.
"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 the benefits of challenging coursework for highschoolers discussed in Caralee AdamsMark C. Long, "Research Finds High School Rigor Tied to Success in College," Education Week, February 3, 2012.
Mark C. Long's research on Texas’ top 10% plan discussed in Jess BravinMark C. Long, "Justices Face a Test on Race," Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2012.
Mark C. Long's research on implementation and student outcomes of changes in AP science tests discussed in Erik RobelenMark C. Long, "Researchers to Study Revised AP Science with NSF Grant," Education Week, October 30, 2012.