Amy Ellen Schwartz

Professor, Economics and Public Administration and International Affairs; Chair, Economics


Amy Ellen Schwartz is a Professor of Economics, Public Administration and International Affairs and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. She is also an Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, Education, and Economics at NYU.  Professor Schwartz is a co-PI and director of Transportation Research for the IES-funded National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice. 

Her research spans a broad range of topics in education policy and urban economics, focusing on the nexus of schools, neighborhoods, and public services and the causes and consequences of children’s academic, social, and health outcomes. Current IES-funded work examines the link between transportation, school choice, commuting, and student outcomes using unique microdata on New York City public school children. Her NIH-funded study of childhood obesity explores the role of the built environment and the food environment, both at home and at school, providing compelling evidence about “what works” to improve student outcomes. Other work examines the impacts of housing (e.g. vouchers, public housing), neighborhood crime, and special education, among others. 

Professor Schwartz is a leading expert on the use of large-scale administrative micro-data sets for policy research, drawing on more than twenty years of collaborative research using detailed micro-data on New York City public school children, buildings, resources, neighborhoods, retail establishments, and taxation.  

She also serves on various editorial boards, including Regional Science and Urban Economics, PLOS-One, and Education Finance and Policy and was the editor of Education Finance and Policy from 2014-2019. At Maxwell, she is the director of the Doctoral Program in Public Affairs, a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Policy Research, and the leader of the Education and Social Policy Working Group. At NYU, Professor Schwartz was the Director of the Institute for Education and Social Policy.

Schwartz earned a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University and a B.S. from Cornell University. 

Select Publications

"Do Housing Vouchers Improve Academic Performance? Evidence from New York City." Amy Ellen Schwartz, Keren Horn, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Sarah Cordes, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (forthcoming).

"Childhood Obesity and the Food Environment: A Population-Based Sample of Public School Children in New York City." Brian Elbel, Kosuke Tamura, Zac McDermott, Erilia Wu, and Amy Ellen Schwartz, Obesity (forthcoming).

"Let Them Eat Lunch: The Impact of Universal Free Meals on Student Performance." Amy Ellen Schwartz and Michah Rothbart, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (forthcoming).

"What a Difference a Grade Makes: Evidence from New York City's Restaurant Grading Policy." Michah Rothbart, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Thad D. Calabrese, Zachary Papper, Todor Mijanovich, Rachel Meltzer, and Diana Silver, Public Administration Review, Vol. 79, No. 5 (2019), pp.651-665.

"The Effect of Residential Mobility on Student Performance: Evidence from NYC." Sarah Cordes, Leanna Stiefel, and Amy Ellen Schwartz, American Educational Research Journal, Vol. 56, No. 4 (2019), pp. 1380-1411.

More Publications

Research Grants and Awards

Co-Principal Investigator. “School Choice Policy Research Center: A National Research Partnership to Improve School Choice for Disadvantaged Students.” Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)/DOE. 2016-2023.

Principal Investigator. “Between Home and School: The School Bus and Student Outcomes.” Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). 2017-2020.

Co-Principal Investigator. "The Impact of the Built Environment on Child BMI." with Brian Ebel. Funded by New York University (NYU)/National Institute of Health (NIH). 2016-2021.

Co-Principal Investigator. “Special Education Policy Reforms: Equal Opportunity at Last?” Funded by New York University (NYU)/Spencer Foundation. 2015-2017.

Co-Principal Investigator. “Impact of the Food Environment on Child Body Mass Index,” with Brian Ebel. Funded by New York University (NYU) /National Institute of Health (NIH). 2013-2017.