Benjamin J. Keys
Assistant Professor, Real Estate Department, University of Pennsylvania
Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research
Contact Information
The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
1461 Steinberg-Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 746-1253


Ben Keys studies issues related to household finance, mortgage finance, real estate, applied econometrics, labor economics, and urban economics. Prior to joining the faculty of the Wharton School Department of Real Estate, Keys was an Assistant Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy and Co-Director of the Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy at the University of Chicago. Previously, he worked as a staff economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in the Division of Research and Statistics. His recent research has focused on subprime mortgages, credit cards, personal bankruptcy, student loans, the unbanked, and alternative financial services.

Keys serves on the editorial boards of the Review of Financial Studies and Management Science. In 2015, he was named a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in 2016 was named a Faculty Research Fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Keys is a member of the Academic Research Council of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute.

His publication, "Did Securitization Lead to Lax Screening? Evidence from Subprime Loans," was published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, awarded Best Paper at the Mitsui Conference on Credit Risk, Citigroup Best Paper Award at the Centre for Analytical Finance Summer Research Conference, and EuroBank Best Paper Award at the European Finance Association Conference. He was the recipient of the 2009 American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association Dissertation Award, and received honorable mention for the 2009 Upjohn Institute Dissertation Award. In 2014, his paper "Failure to Refinance" received the CoreLogic Academic Research Council (CLARC) Excellence Award. His work has been profiled in the Economist, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post, among other publications.

Keys holds a B.A. in economics and political science from Swarthmore College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan. Before graduate school, he worked at the Brookings Institution as a senior research assistant.