Ongoing Work

"Analysis of Unemployment Insurance Claims in California During the COVID-19 Pandemic" (with Thomas J. Hedin, Geoff Schnorr, and Till von Wachter)

Journal Articles

"Do Tax Cuts Produce More Einsteins? The Impacts of Financial Incentives vs. Exposure to Innovation on the Supply of Inventors" (with Raj Chetty, Xavier Jaravel, Neviana Petkova, and John van Reenen), Journal of the European Economic Association 17 (3): 651-77, 2019.

"Who Becomes an Inventor in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation" (with Raj Chetty, Xavier Jaravel, Neviana Petkova, and John van Reenen), The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 134 (2): 647-713, 2019.

"Team-Specific Capital and Innovation" (with Xavier Jaravel and Neviana Petkova), American Economic Review, 108(4-5):1034-73, 2018.

Works in Progress

"Responses to UI Benefit Generosity During the Pandemic" (with Geoff Schnorr and Till von Wachter).

In Preparation

"Job Amenities & Earnings Inequality"

Abstract: Previous research on prices of job amenities has suffered from simultaneity bias due to unobserved worker ability, resulting in apparently "wrong-signed" compensating wage differentials. I propose a new estimator for amenity prices that uses only a single imprecise proxy for workers' ability to identify the amenity price that holds ability fixed. My estimation strategy removes imprecision from the ability proxy by using predicted values from a regression of the ability proxy on wages and amenities. With price estimates for a set of observed job characteristics, I turn to investigating the role of job amenities in demographic income gaps. I find a large role for costly amenity substitution in explaining the gender pay gap. In contrast, substitution on the basis of observed amenities does not appear to play large roles in income inequalities by race or by parent background.

"The Role of Mentoring in Economic Mobility" (with Neviana Petkova).

Abstract: How do adult mentors shape kids' life trajectories? To evaluate this question, we leverage the microdata from a 1991 RCT that randomized disadvantaged children's eligibility for a popular mentoring program. Our re-analysis of the original short-run survey data suggests that kids' behaviors improved during the time they were with mentors. A linkage to later-life administrative records yields imprecise estimates of treatment effects on earnings, but significant evidence that the treatment group is on a better trajectory in several ways. For instance, members of the treatment group today are significantly more likely to have attended college, though standard estimates of the economic returns to education would be too small to detect in this experimental sample. Although our estimates suggest that mentoring programs will not fully equalize economic opportunities for disadvantaged youth, the program's relatively low costs and substantial benefits may place it among the most cost-effective interventions of its type to be evaluated.