Faculty Profiles

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Jessica Simon

  • Associate Professor of Practice
Academic Division: Economics


Dr. Simon is an education economist whose ongoing research concerns gender gaps in self-employment outcomes for U.S. Millennials, including monetary and non-monetary returns to education, occupational sorting, and implications for young families. Her work in this area, co-authored with Dr. Megan Way, has been published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues and Gender in Management. Other current work concerns the association between business and entrepreneurship education and successful self-employment outcomes. A recent report funded by the Davis Educational Foundation and co-authored with Drs. Polutnik and Way explored cost containment strategies in higher education, their relationship to institutional mission, and the use of data-driven tools to improve decision making related to cost containment. Before joining Babson as full-time faculty, Dr. Simon taught economics at Boston University and on an adjunct basis at Babson College. Her past research and consulting experience focused on early literacy, effectiveness of STEM initiatives, cost-effectiveness in education, and development and fundraising in higher education. Dr. Simon earned her Ph.D. in economics and education from Columbia University in 2011. She is a graduate of Brandeis University's B.A./M.A. program in economics, where she also earned a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph D, Columbia University
  • M.Phil, Columbia University
  • MA, Brandeis University
  • BA, Brandeis University

Academic Interest / Expertise

Economics of Education; Education Finance; Gender; Gender Studies; Self-employment and Entrepreneurship

Awards & Honors

  • 2020 — Kauffman Foundation Best Paper Award (co-authored with Angela Randolph, Danna Greenberg, and William Gartner), Gender, Diversity, and Entrepreneurship Award - Academy of Management
  • 2016 — Highly Commended Paper (with Megan Way), 2016 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence, Emerald Publishing


  • Degree Courses 2022

  • Degree Courses 2021



Journal Articles

  • Randolph, A.F., Greenberg, D., Simon, J.K., Gartner, W.B. (2022). Exploring differences in the antisocial behaviors of adolescent rule-breaking that affect entrepreneurial persistence. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research. Vol: 28, Issue: 2, Page: 471-499.
  • Simon, J.K., Way, M.M., Polutnik, L., Albright, J. (2019). Linking College Mission Statements to Cost Containment Strategies. International Journal of Educational Management. Vol: 33, Issue: 4, Page: 792-804. Emerald.
  • Simon, J.K., Way, M.M. (2016). Why the Gap? Determinants of Self-Employment Earnings Differentials for Male and Female Millennials in the US. Journal of Family and Economic Issues. Vol: 37, Issue: 2, Page: 297-312. Springer New York LLC. link
  • Simon, J.K., Way, M.M. (2015). Working from home and the gender gap in earnings for self-employed US Millennials. Gender in Management: An International Journal. Vol: 30, Issue: 3, Page: 206-224. Emerald Group Publishing. link

Book Chapters

  • Simon, J.K., Way, M.M. (2021). Gendered returns to education for self-employed U.S. Millennials: A call for research: Women and Global Entrepreneurship: Contextualising Everyday Experiences. Routledge.

Book Reviews

  • Simon, J.K. (2014). Food Security: Beyond Calories [Review of the book Reclaiming Food Security by Michael S. Carolan]: Journal of International Affairs. Vol: 67, Issue: 2, Page: 201-203.


  • Polutnik, L., Way, M.M., Simon, J.K. (2016). Containing costs while enhancing the educational mission: A study of best practices for small private colleges. Davis Educational Foundation.

Conference Proceedings

  • Randolph, A.F., Simon, J.K., Greenberg, D., Gartner, W.B. (2020). Rule Breaking, Gender, Social Status and Entrepreneurial Persistence.


  • The Year in Meme Simon, J. Coyne, C. BOW Community Connections Workshop, ONLINE (2021)
  • Pitch and she shall receive: The opportunity to pitch erases the gender gap in VC Balachandra, L. Randolph, A. Simon, J. Academy of Management , Virtual (2020)
  • Rule breaking, gender, social status and entrepreneurial persistence Randolph, A. Simon, J. Greenberg, D. Gartner, W. Academy of Management Meeting, ONLINE (2020)
  • Family Structure, Work Attitudes and Entrepreneurship: A Study of Gender Simon, J. Randolph, A. Chen, S. Brush, C. Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference , Babson Park, MA (2019)
  • Beyond capital: Early life societal pressure, rule breaking, and future entrepreneurial careers Randolph, A. Simon, J. Greenberg, D. Babson College Entrepreneurial Research Conference (BCERC), Waterford, Ireland (2018)
  • Rule breaking, status, and entrepreneurial status Randolph, A. Simon, J. Babson Faculty Research Day, Wellesley, MA (2018)
  • Learning by doing: Does working at a school-based enterprise lead to self-employment? Randolph, A. Simon, J. US Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference - Emerging Research Track, Los Angeles, CA (2018)
  • Using Analytics for Mission-Driven Capacity Management and Cost Containment in Small Colleges Polutnik, L. Way, M. Simon, J. NERA Annual Conference, Trumbull, CT (2017)
  • Containing Costs While Advancing the Educational Mission: A Study of Best Practices for Small Private Colleges Polutnik, L. Way, M. Simon, J. Babson Trustees and Overseers, Babson Park, MA (2017)
  • Containing Costs While Advancing the Educational Mission: A Study of Best Practices for Small Private Colleges Polutnik, L. Way, M. Simon, J. Babson Faculty Research Chat, Babson Park, MA (2016)
  • Returns to Education for Self-Employed US Millennials and the Self-Employment Earnings Gap: A Quantile Regression Approach Way, M. Simon, J. Population Association of America Conference 2016, Washington, D.C. (2016)
  • Returns to Education for Self-Employed US Millennials and the Self-Employment Gender Earnings Gap: A Quantile Regression Approach Simon, J. Way, M. UMass Lowell Department of Economics Seminar, Lowell, MA (2016)
  • Economic Returns to Education for Self-Employed US Millennials and the Self-Employment Gender Earnings Gap: A Quantile Regression Approach Simon, J. Way, M. Babson Faculty Research Chat, Babson College (2015)
  • Gendered Location Choices and Earnings Outcomes for Self-Employed US Millennials Simon, J. Way, M. Diana International Research Conference 2014, Stockholm, Sweden (2014)
  • The Earnings Gender Gap for Self-Employed Millennials: Evidence from the NLSY 97 Simon, J. Way, M. Population Association of America 2014 Annual Meeting, Boston, MA (2014)
  • Are we having fun yet? Evaluation and lessons learned from Vanished, the MIT-Smithsonian Science Mystery Game Feeley, C. Osterweil, S. Simon, J. Games + Learning + Society (GLS 8.0) Conference, Madison, WI (2012)