Mike Cassidy

Mike Cassidy

Postdoc in Economics

Princeton University


Mike Cassidy is a postdoc at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University. He is an applied microeconomist whose research spans labor, public, and urban economics, with particular emphases on welfare, education, and health. His current work focuses on homeless families, while his overall research agenda endeavors to understand how people make decisions and how social policy, broadly construed, can help them make better ones. He is on the job market in 2023-24.


  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Health, Education, and Welfare Economics
  • Public Economics
  • Labor Economics
  • Urban Economics
  • Econometrics


  • PhD, Economics, 2020

    Rutgers University

  • MPA, Economics and Public Policy, with distinction, 2014

    Princeton University

  • BA, Communication and Political Science, summa cum laude, 2007

    University of Pennsylvania


Improving School Attendance among Homeless Children: Evaluating the Attendance Matters Program

Absenteeism is a prevailing concern in American education, and students experiencing homelessness are particularly vulnerable to high rates of school absenteeism. Despite this increased risk, we find no research in which the primary focus is assessing the efficacy of shelter-based programs that seek to reduce absenteeism among homeless children. Thus, we evaluate the Attendance Matters program, which sought to improve school attendance among homeless students in New York City shelters through interagency coordination, leveraging data to target scarce program resources, and employing evidence-based social work practices. We use administrative data in a quasi-experimental study to evaluate the program’s effects on school attendance and, secondarily, on outcomes of proficiency and stability. Findings suggest that the program resulted in reductions in days absent and the absence rate among K-8 students, though findings for secondary outcomes and attendance outcomes for high school students were inconsistent across model specifications. Results, which likely understate actual program effects, have implications beyond this setting, as they suggest that a low-budget program leveraging evidence-based practices and existing resources can impact this seemingly intractable problem. Education and homelessness policymakers should seek opportunities to test replication in additional settings.

Working Papers

Works in Progress