United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Cassandra Benson

Assistant Professor

Department of Economics and Geosciences

Benson (DFEG)
Contact Information

(719) 333-8749



Dr. Cassandra Benson is an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics and Geosciences. Before joining the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2019, she earned her B.A. in Mathematical Economics from Colorado College and her Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University. Dr. Benson teaches courses in microeconomics.

Dr. Benson’s research interests include topics in applied microeconomics, education, and disability policy. She currently focuses on (1) the role of teachers and schools in reporting child maltreatment and (2) the interaction of local and federal disability programs. Outside academic life, Cassandra enjoys hiking, biking, running, and the occasional marathon or triathlon.


Ph.D., Economics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. (2019)

M.A., Economics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. (2017)

B.A., Mathematical Economics, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2012)

Professional Experience

Assistant Professor, Department of Economics and Geosciences, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2019-present)

Visiting Instructor, Department of Economics, Ithaca College, Ithaca. N.Y. (Fall 2016)

Technical/Statistical Coordinator, Department of Economics and Business, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2012-2013)

Honors & Awards

Mathematica Disability Research Consortium Dissertation Fellowship ($28,000) (2018-2019)

National Bureau of Economic Research Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Disability Policy ($23,376) (2017-2018)

Research Travel Grant, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.($2,000) (2017)

Best Economic Paper, Academy of Economics and Finance (2013)

Robin Satterwhite Thesis Award, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2012)

Van Skilling Award for Independent Research in Economics, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2012)

Research and Scholarly Interests

Economics of Education

Public economics

Labor economics


Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Beyond Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic: The Role of Teachers and Schools in Reporting Child Maltreatment (with Sam Bondurant and Maria Fitzpatrick). Revise and Resubmit at Journal of Human Resources.

Other Reports and Publications
Increasing the Share of Female Faculty within Humanities Departments: Does the Gender of University Leaders Matter? Cornell Higher Education Research Institute Working Paper 170 (with Todd Jones, Sarah Prenovitz, and Ronald Ehrenberg)

Do Administrators' Disciplinary Backgrounds Influence Humanities Departments' Staffing Patterns? Cornell Higher Education Research Institute Working Paper 168 (with Todd Jones, Sarah Prenovtiz, and Ronald Ehrenberg)

Bidding for Classes: Course Allocation Under the Colorado College Auction System (with Daniel K.N. Johnson and Kristina M. Lybecker). Conference Proceedings, Academy of Economics and Finance, 2014.