This page is optimized for a taller screen. Please rotate your device or increase the size of your browser window.

Peck, Ph.D.

Principal Scientist, Social & Economic Policy

Laura Peck is a nationally renowned policy evaluation methodologist. As a principal scientist, Peck applies her expertise to the evaluation of policies and programs areas ithat include welfare, housing, education, income security and employment.
A former tenured associate professor at Arizona State University, Peck is an innovative thinker, focused on fresh ways to more precisely estimate program impacts in both experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations. She was the lead developer of Abt’s Social Impact Policy Pathfinder (SPI-Path), a suite of analytic tools that use data from experimentally designed evaluations to determine what drives program impacts.

Peck provides intellectual leadership and management to a team of analysts supporting work for federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Labor. For example, she is co-principal investigator for HUD’s Pre-Purchase Homeownership Counseling Demonstration and Impact Evaluation and for HHS’s Experimental Impact Evaluation of the Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program.
Peck is a member of Abt’s Development & Dissemination Program Steering Committee. In that capacity she works with colleagues to support their success in publishing in peer-reviewed journals to contribute to scholarly discourse. She has served on the policy council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management  and completed a four-year term as associate editor for the American Journal of Evaluation. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and the co-author of a public policy textbook. 


  • Experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation design and analysis
  • Quantitative research methods
  • Social welfare policy

Key Projects

  • Social Policy Impact Pathfinder (SPI-Path)
  • Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program (HPOG) Impact Evaluation (HHS/ACF/OPRE)
  • Job Search Assistance Strategies Evaluation (HHS/ACF/OPRE)
  • Pre-Purchase Homeownership Counseling Demonstration and Impact Evaluation (HUD)
  • Green Jobs-Health Care Training Program Evaluation (DOL) 

Selected Publications/Video

  • Moulton, Shawn R.; Peck, Laura R.; Greeney, Adam (2017). Analyzing the Influence of Dosage in Social Experiment, With Application to the Supporting Health Marriage Program. American Journal of Evaluation. DOI:
  • Peck, Laura R. (2016). Social Experiments in Practice:  The What, Why, When, Where and How of Experimental Design and Analysis.Special issue of New Directions for Evaluation
  • Bell, Stephen H.; Peck, Laura R. (2016). On the Feasibility of Extending Social Experiments to Wider Applications. MultiDisciplinary Journal of Evaluation. 12(27), 93-111
    Peck, Laura R. (2015). Using Impact Evaluation Tools to Unpack the Black Box and Learn What Works. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 11(24): 54-67.
  • Peck, Laura R. & Chao Guo. (2014). How Does Welfare Use Affect Charitable Activity?  A Tale of Two Methods.  Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. DOI: 10.1177/0899764014527642
  • Moulton, Shawn, Laura R. Peck, & Keri-Nicole Dillman.  (2014). Moving to Opportunity’s Impact on Health and Well-being Among High Dosage Participants. Housing Policy Debate, 24(2): 415-446.  DOI: 10.1080/10511482.2013.875051
  • Peck, Laura R. (2013). On Analysis of Symmetrically-Predicted Endogenous Subgroups: Part One of a Method Note in Three Parts. American Journal of Evaluation, 34(2): 225-236. DOI: 10.1177/1098214013481666
  • Bell, Stephen H. and Laura R. Peck. (2013). Using Symmetric Predication of Endogenous Subgroups for Causal Inferences about Program Effects under Robust Assumptions: Part Two of a Method Note in Three Parts. American Journal of Evaluation. 34(2). DOI: 10.1177/1098214013489338
  • Harvill, Eleanor L., Laura R. Peck & Stephen H. Bell. (2013). On Overfitting in Analysis of Symmetrically Predicted Endogenous Subgroups from Randomized Experimental Samples: Part Three of a Method Note in Three Parts.  American Journal of Evaluation, 34(4): 545-556.  DOI: 10.1177/1098214013503201
  • Peck, Laura R., Ida D’Attoma, Furio Camillo and Chao Guo. (2012). A New Strategy for Reducing Selection Bias in Non-Experimental Evaluations, and The Case of How Public Assistance Receipt Affects Charitable Giving. Policy Studies Journal, 40(4): 601-625.
  • Peck, Laura R., Yushim Kim and Joanna Lucio. (2012). An Examination of Validity in Evaluation. American Journal of Evaluation, 33(3): 350-365. DOI: 10.1177/1098214012439929
  • Peck, Laura R. Why Is Investing in Rigorous Evaluation So Important?

Blog Posts

Laura Peck