Jessica Wolpaw Reyes

Curriculum Vitae


Contact Information

Department of Economics
Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002
Office Phone: (413) 542-8517
Email: jwreyes at


Academic Positions

Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts (2002-present)
Professor of Economics (2015-present)
Associate Professor of Economics (2009-2015)
Chair of Department of Economics (2012-2014)
Assistant Professor of Economics (2002-2009)
Environmental Studies Faculty (2007-present)

University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (2003-2004)
Assistant Professor of Economics

National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2001-2002)
Post-Doctoral Fellow in Aging and Health Economics



Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1997-2002)
Ph.D. in Economics, June 2002
Dissertation: “The Impact of Lead Exposure on Crime and Health, and an Analysis of the Market for Physicians”
Nominated for Wells Dissertation Prize.

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England (1994-1995)
Diploma in Mathematical Statistics, June 1995
Diploma Project: “Causes and Correlates of Juvenile Delinquency in Young Males”
Winston Churchill Scholar.  Loeb Scholar.  Alpha Diploma Project. 

Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts (1990-1994)
Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude in Mathematics, Chemistry, and Interdisciplinary Studies.  Phi Beta Kappa.


Published Work

“Lead Exposure and Behavior: Effects on Aggression and Risky Behavior among Children and Adolescents,” Economic Inquiry, 53:3, July 2015.

“Lead Policy and Academic Performance: Insights from Massachusetts,” Harvard Educational Review, 85:1, Spring 2015.

“The Effect of Malpractice Liability on Obstetrics and Gynecology: Taking the Measure of a Crisis,” with Rene Reyes, New England Law Review, 47:2, 2012.

“Teaching the Art of Economic Research in a Senior Seminar,” The American Economist, 15:2, Fall 2010.

“Gender Preference and Equilibrium in the Imperfectly Competitive Market for Physician Services,” Eastern Economic Journal, 34:3, June 2008. 

“College Financial Aid Rules and the Allocation of Savings,” Education Economics, 16:2, June 2008.

“Environmental Policy as Social Policy? The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime,” B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 7:1 (Contributions), October 2007.

“Gender Gaps in Income and Productivity of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,” Obstetrics and Gynecology, 109:5, May 2007.

“Reaching Equilibrium in the Market for Obstetricians and Gynecologists,” American Economic Review, 97:2, May 2007.


Working Papers

“The Social Cost of Lead”

“Lead Exposure, Academic Performance, and Labor Market Performance”

“Childhood Lead and Academic Performance in Massachusetts,” New England Public Policy Center Working Paper 11-3, August 2011.


Other Published Work

“Lead Exposure and Academic Performance,” Communities and Banking Magazine, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 23:1, Winter 2012.

“Review of Troesken’s The Great Lead Water Pipe Disaster,” Journal of Economic History, 67:3, September 2007.

“Lead,” Encyclopedia of Environment and Society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2007.

“The Clean Air Act,” Encyclopedia of Environment and Society.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2007.


Professional Activities

Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2006-present.

Referee. Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Journal of Human Resources, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Journal of Labor Research, Health Affairs, Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, Eastern Economic Journal, National Tax Journal, The American Economist, NeuroToxicology, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, Journal of the European Economic Association, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Journal of Public Economics, Economic Inquiry, Contemporary Economic Policy, Journal of Economic Education, Journal of Labor Economics.

Member. American Economic Association, American Society of Health Economists, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, Eastern Economic Association, National Tax Association, American Association of University Women, Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management, Undergraduate Women in Economics advisory group.

Media Coverage.  Articles citing research papers have been circulated in numerous news outlets both within the United States and internationally.  Outlets include: BBC News, The Chicago Tribune, Discovery News, The Economist, Mother Jones, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal.


Grants, Awards, and Fellowships

2015 Faculty Research Awards Program, Amherst College
2014 Laura Joyner Award, Mensa Education and Research Foundation
2013 Curricular Development Grant, Dayton Fund for Environmental Science, Amherst College
2010-2011 Visiting Scholar, New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
2009 Curricular Development Grant, Dayton Fund for Environmental Science, Amherst College
2008 Pilot Project, National Institute on Aging, National Bureau of Economic Research
2005, 2007 Curricular Development Grant, Dayton Fund for Environmental Science, Amherst College
2004 Summer Research Assignment, University of Texas at Austin
2003, 2005 Pilot Project, National Institute on Aging, National Bureau of Economic Research
2001 – 2002 Post-Doctoral Fellow in Aging and Health Economics, National Bureau of Economic Research
1998 – 2001 Inequality and Social Policy Program Doctoral Fellow, Wiener Center for Social Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
1999 - 2000 Pre-Doctoral Fellow in Aging and Health Economics, National Bureau of Economic Research
1997 - 2001 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Harvard University
1997 Harvard University Economics Department Prize Fellowship, Harvard University
1997 Rufus B. Kellogg Graduate Fellowship, Amherst College
1994 - 1995 Winston Churchill Foundation Scholar, Cambridge University, Cambridge England
1993 Phi Beta Kappa, Amherst College



Social Cost of Lead.  Office of Fair Housing and Equity, City of Boston, October 2014.  Environmental Public Health Seminar, National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, May 2014.  Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, June 2013.  American Academy for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, February 2013. 

Lead and Behavior.  Criminology Seminar, University of Pennsylvania, October 2014.  Crime Roundtable, National Academy of Sciences, December 2013.  Harvard Environmental Economics and Policy Seminar, February 2012.  Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Annual Conference, November 2010. University of Delaware, March 2009. Clark University, November 2008. University of Massachusetts, September 2007.  RAND Corporation, April 2007.

Lead and Academic Performance.  Centers for Disease Control, November 2011.  Bureau of Environmental Health, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, May 2011.  Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, February 2011.  New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, September 2010.

Lead, Environmental Policy, and Public Policy.   Swarthmore College, March 2009.  Amherst College Faculty Colloquium Series, November 2008. Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, Rochester, New York, February 2008.  University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center, February 2008. Harvard Law School, April 2006.

Lead and Crime.  Society of Labor Economists Annual Meeting, May 2006. Rice University and University of Houston, April 2003. Harvard School of Public Health, April 2003. Brown University, March 2003. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, February 2003. University of Texas at Austin, January 2003. Boston University, January 2003. Amherst College, December 2001.  Harvard Economics Department Labor Seminar, October 2001.

Lead and Infant Health. Baylor College of Medicine, May 2003.

Gender and Physicians.  Columbia Business School, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center on Leadership and Ethics, September 2008.  Jersey Shore Medical Center, June 2008.  American Economic Association Annual Meeting, January 2007.  Harvard University, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, May 2006.  Eastern Economic Association Annual Meeting, February 2006.

Malpractice and Physicians.  Amherst College Health Economics Symposium, April 2008.

College Financial Aid and Savings.  National Tax Association Annual Conference, November 2006. National Bureau of Economic Research Summer Institute, July 2006.  Williams College, November 2005.


College Service

Economics Department Service

Chair of Department of Economics, 2012-2014.
Economics Student Handbook, designed and implemented, 2012-present.
Economics Thesis Process, augmented and overseen, 2004-present.
Economics Department Renovation, planning and administration, 2013-2014.
Department of Economics Library Representative, 2008-2009.
Department of Economics Search Committee, 2007-2008, 2012-2013, 2013-2014.

College Committees

Orientation Committee, 2013-present.
Student Fellowships Committee, 2011-2013.
Committee on Priorities and Resources, 2009-2010.
Faculty Lecture Committee, 2007-2009 (Chair 2008-2009).
Environmental Studies Faculty, 2007-present.
Environmental Science / Environmental Studies Presidential Initiative Fund for Interdisciplinary Projects, 2004-2006.
Environmental Science Committee, 2004-2005.
Search Committee for Director of Information Technology, 2004-2005. 

College Conferences and Presentations

Alumni/Reunion Panel on “Managing the Return on College Investment,” May 2014.
Alumni Panel on Social Policy in honor of Walter Nicholson.  Co-organized afternoon symposium on social policy comprised of talks by several alumni, April 2013.
Family Weekend Panel on health economics.  Co-organized an extended visit by three health economist alumni to discuss health economics issues with students, faculty, and families, October 2012.
Synergies Summit on Teaching Innovation within the Open Curriculum.  Conference presentation about the economics thesis process and thesis seminar, May 2012.
Amherst Connects Lecture on“Economic Perspectives on Healthcare Reform.”  Virtual lecture-discussion, together with Prof. Walter Nicholson, on healthcare reform for alumni, parents, students, faculty, and the broad college community, May 2010.
1821 Alumni Society Presentation on “Faculty-Student Collaboration.”   Presentation to 1821 Alumni Society on faculty-student collaboration on college committees, October 2009.
Amherst College Health Economics Symposium.  Organized and chaired a day-long conference that brought researchers, policymakers, and alumni to campus to discuss health economics and policy issues with students in Health Economics and Policy, students in Evaluating Social Policy, and the broader community.  April 2008.
Teaching and Advising Lunch on “Teaching Student Research: A Faculty-Librarian Collaboration” with Susan Edwards, library liaison to the social sciences, March 2008.
Interterm Course Lectures on “The Uninsured in Massachusetts,” organized by Academic Technology Services in collaboration with the Holyoke Health Center, January 2007 and January 2008.

Student Organizations and Mentoring

Advising to students considering policy-related opportunities in medicine, the private sector, and government.
Advising to student group supporting women in Finance, Economics, and STEM.
Student fellowships mock interviews and informal application advising.
Early advising and orientation program.
Green Amherst Project Teach-In, “The Relevance of Economics for the Environment,” April 2014.
Roosevelt Fireside Chat on “Demystifying Healthcare Reform,” October 2009.
Writing Center Orientation Panel Discussion on “Writing at Amherst,” September 2009.
Faculty Advisor, Roosevelt Institution Chapter, Amherst College, 2008-2010.
Women’s Career Networking Lunch, May 2008.
Academic Peer Training Program Panel Discussion on “Supporting First-Year Students,” August 2007.
MassPIRG's Campus Climate Initiative & Re-Think Panel on “Who is Responsible for the Environment?” March 2006.
Congress to Campus visit by former members of Congress, discussion of “Health Care Policy for the Uninsured,” March 2006.
Directed Mellon and Amherst Academic Interns in economic research: Douglas Norton ’05, Loren Crary ’07, Lesley Pruzansky ’07, Channing Jones ’09, Stephen Trask ’09, Matthew Stolper ’10, Madeleine Weingarten ’11, Nicholas Hodges ’11, Christopher Morrison ’12, Diorgenes Bellini ’14.


Courses Taught

Economics 111: An Introduction to Economics (Fall 2002, Spring 2003, 2005, 2006)
Economics 214: Health Economics and Policy (Spring 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012-2015)
Economics 231: Economics of the Public Sector (Spring 2004, Fall 2005)
Economics 300: Microeconomics (Fall 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Economics 412: Applied Microeconomics Seminar (Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Fall 2015)
Economics 416: Evaluating Social Policy (Spring 2003, Fall 2004, Spring 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015)
Economics 490: Special Topics, Topics in Labor Economics, Ryan Park ‘05 (Spring 2005)
Economics 498: Senior Departmental Honors Seminar (Fall 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011-2015)
Economics 499: Senior Thesis (Spring 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014)


Honors Theses Directed

Stephanie Ternullo ’15, Interdisciplinary thesis investigating economic policy and inequality in the U.S., Spain, and Sweden, co-advising with Ron Lembo and Hannah Holleman.
Karan Fisher ’14, “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Education and Changing Discount Rates”
Josephine Fisher ’12, “How do the Rich Die?”
Alex Meyers ‘10, “Stability of Risk Preference Estimates over Payoff Horizons”
Laura Vincent ’09, “Immigration and Welfare Generosity in Denmark”
Jennifer Ho ’08, “The Economics of Luckiness: How Superstition Impacts Real Estate Prices in Singapore”
Vikram Rangan ’06, “America's Uninsured Children: A Failure of State Policy?”
Douglas Norton ’05, “Murder's Margin: Estimating the Impact of Health Care on the Lethality of Attacks”
Nathan Shike ’03, “A Micro-Economic Model of Fertility Behavior and Social Influence with an Empirical Analysis of Israeli Fertility Differentials”

July 2015



Department of Economics
304A Converse Hall — Amherst College — Amherst, MA
(413) 542.8517— jwreyes at