In Progress

“The Effects of Pollution on High Stakes Accountability School Grades and Student Achievement” with Claudia Persico (presentations at APPAM 2017, AEFP 2018)

Using population-level data that follows cohorts of children born in the state of Florida between 1994 and 2002, we examine the effects of exposure to environmental toxicants by comparing students who attend schools within one mile of a TRI site that emits environmental toxicants to those living between one to two miles of such sites. Using the timing of plant openings and closings, we compare children who are exposed to pollution in the year of testing to those who are further away and plausibly unexposed. We will focus on airborne toxic releases because people living close to a plant may be more likely to be exposed to them than to water or ground releases. We find that attending schools within 1 mile of a TRI site while the site is operating substantially lowers children’s test scores as well as significantly impacting schools’ performance on school accountability measures.

“Where You Lead, I Will Follow: An Examination of Dual-Earner Household Migration”

In this paper, I analyze how locational compatibility of married couples’ occupations affect their household migration decisions. Preliminary data work suggests that if spouses’ careers are concentrated in similar locations or if spouses have similar preferred locations, they are more likely to both earn more and move more. I then build a structural model in which households decide whether to move as a function of occupation- location match and individual location preference shocks. I estimate the model using both two-step simulated method of moments and full information maximum likelihood with data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, with separate estimation for households with married couples and for households with individuals. Using this model, I show that migration costs vary across occupation groups, with those in occupations that are more locationally disperse having lower migration costs. I then use the parameters estimates from the married couple’s model and the individual’s model to show that differences in migration rates across household types is not associated with systematically different preferences for married versus single individuals, but instead due to the increased costs of moving when a household has two people’s preferences to consider.

“Explaining the Retreat from Marriage: Male Economic Prospects and Cultural Change”

How much of the decline in marriage over the last forty years is attributable to changing wage patterns for women and men and do these patterns vary by demographic group?

Policy Pieces/ White Papers

Sex, Contraception or Abortion: Explaining Class Gaps in Unintended Childbearing, The Brookings Institution, February 2015

Media Mentions:  Vox; The Atlantic; Business Insider; Washington PostWashington Examiner; Think Progress; Jezebel; Family Studies

Improving Children’s Life Chances through Better Family Planning, The Brookings Institution, January 23, 2015

The Character Factor: Measures and Impacts of Drive and Prudence, The Brookings Institution, October 22, 2014

The Impact of Unintended Childbearing on Future Generations, The Brookings Institution, September 12, 2014

Cited in New York Times piece ‘Beyond Marriage’, Sept 14, 2014; 

Reducing Unintended Pregnancies for Low-Income Women, The Hamilton Project, June 19, 2014