Ed Olsen

Edgar O. Olsen

Professor Emeritus of Economics

Education & Training
Ph.D., Economics, Rice University, 1968
B.A., Economics and Mathematics, Tulane University, 1963

Ed Olsen is a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Virginia, where he has served as chairman of the economics department and was heavily involved in the creation and development of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.  He received his doctorate from Rice University and 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.
Olsen’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 professional journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Public Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, and Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and he wrote the chapter on empirical housing economics in the 1987 North-Holland Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, the chapter on low-income housing programs in the 2003 National Bureau of Economic Research volume Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, and the chapter on U.S. housing policy in the 2015 North-Holland Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics.
Olsen has testified on low-income housing policy before Congressional committees eight times, has been an expert witness on the topic in two major class-action lawsuits, has been a consultant to HUD during six administrations, and was a member of the 2007 National Academy of Sciences Committee to Evaluate the Research Plan of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a member of the MTO Technical Review Panel.  Olsen served on the Board of Editors of the American Economic Review from 1985 through 1991.  He was Vice President of the Southern Economic Association from 2003 to 2005 and served two terms on the Board of Trustees of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.