Dara Lee Luca

Dara Luca

Senior Researcher
  • Quasi-experimental and experimental research designs
  • Quantitative design and analysis
  • Reproductive health and family planning
Focus Areas
  • Disability
  • Employment and Income Support
  • Disability
  • Employment and Income Support
  • Family Support
  • Human Services
About Dara

Dara Lee Luca’s research focuses on the quantitative design and evaluation of a broad range of health and labor policies.

Luca currently serves as principal investigator on several projects funded by the Social Security Administration examining how best to support youth and children with disabilities. She also leads a study assessing the cost of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in the United States as well as a cost-effectiveness analysis of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, the largest federally funded program serving people with HIV. On the reproductive health front, she is conducting a hotspot analysis using machine learning methods to predict areas at risk of high rates of unintended pregnancy, and she played an integral role in a recently completed large-scale multisite study exploring effective ways to reduce teen sexual activity, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Key past roles include serving as the lead economist on a project estimating the economic impacts of marijuana legalization in Massachusetts and as the co-principal investigator on a randomized evaluation of the impacts of Job Corps on youth with health impairments.

Before joining Mathematica, Luca held faculty positions at Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Missouri. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Boston University.

Key Projects