Melissa Bjelland

Research Associate

201 Dolgen Hall
Cornell University
New York, NY 10016

Fax: (212) 340-2822

Melissa Bjelland

Melissa Bjelland received her Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University with specializations in the fields of labor economics, health economics, and econometrics. In January 2008, she joined the faculty of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University.


As a Research Associate within the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, she advances knowledge of the labor force experiences of individuals with disabilities using a variety of survey and administrative datasets. She is involved in the New York State Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income (NYS PROMISE) project, which explores the transition of youth SSI recipients into postsecondary education and employment. In addition to performing statistical analyses and authoring research papers and policy briefs, she assists in grant writing, identifying new funding sources, and conceptualizing special research and knowledge dissemination projects.


Prior to joining the Yang-Tan Institute, her dissertation research involved the exploration of the lasting impacts of employee-employer separations due to layoffs and health shocks, as well as employer-to-employer transitions. While an employee of the Bureau of Labor Statistics serving as a contractor for the U.S. Census Bureau, she extensively utilized restricted-access and longitudinally-linked micro data files in her research.


Ph.D. January 2007 – Cornell University, Economics
M.A. January 2004 – Cornell University, Economics
B.S. December 1998 – University of Arizona, Mathematics