Assistant Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Bill Lester is an assistant professor at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, specializing in economic development. His research focuses on the role of labor market institutions in fostering greater equity at the urban and metropolitan level. He is an expert on the impact of minimum wage and living wage policies on urban economic development.
Lester employs quantitative and qualitative methods drawn from the fields of labor economics, political science, and regional development. While his research on the minimum wage and living wage has garnered national attention—including a mention in the State of the Union address—he continues to broaden his research agenda within the field of economic development.
Lester received his Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, his master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in urban studies and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
- 2014, Inside monopsony: A mixed methods approach to understanding how labor standards shape employment practices in the restaurant industry, $14,000
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