Edgar O. Olsen

Professor of Economics and Public Policy
Email Address
Phone Number
Office Location/Room Number
Monroe 250
Curriculum Vitae
Personal website(s)
Education & Training
Ph.D., Economics, Rice University, 1968
B.A., Economics and Mathematics, Tulane University, 1963
Courses Taught
Economics of Public Policy I
Economics of Welfare Reform
Economics of the Public Sector

Ed Olsen is a professor of economics in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he served as chairman of the Department of Economics, and a professor of public policy in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

He has been a postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University, an economist at the Rand Corporation, a project associate in the Institute for Research on Poverty and a visiting professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Wisconsin, and a visiting scholar at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Ed’s teaching and research has focused on public policy issues, especially concerning the welfare system. Within this broad area, his research specialty is low-income housing policy. He has published papers on housing markets and policies in leading professional journals, and he wrote the chapter on low-income housing programs in the 2003 National Bureau of Economic Research volume on means-tested transfers in the United States and the chapter on U.S. housing policy in the 2015 North-Holland Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics.

Ed has testified on low-income housing policy before Congressional committees five times, has been an expert witness on the topic in two major class-action lawsuits, and has been a consultant to HUD during six administrations.