Working Papers*

College Enrollment and Mandatory FAFSA Applications: Evidence from Louisiana

Barriers to accessing financial aid may keep low income students from matriculating to college. To test whether FAFSA completion is one of these barriers, I utilize a natural experiment brought about by a Louisiana mandate for high school seniors to file the FAFSA upon graduation from high school. Variation in how much this policy affected schools demonstrates that mandatory completion increased college enrollment in the fall by about 4 percent for schools most affected by this policy.

Works in Progress

Engendered Social Norms, Occupational Segregation, and Tipping Behavior within Firms

Joint with Neelanjan Datta and Germán Reyes

Given that a large portion of the gender wage gap can be explained by occupational choices of men and women, it is imperative to understand why such segregation exists and how it is formed over time. In particular, several occupations have seen mass exodus of male shares once female shares reach a certain level. We contribute to this empirical fact by exploring the nonlinear dynamics of occupational gender segregation. Specifically, we extend work by Pan (2015) by using employee-employer matched data in a new labor market context (Brazil). We are able to test several theories on the existence of aggregated occupational tipping points by utilizing decisions made by workers at the firm level.

Changing Preferences for Intermarriage

Over the last several decades, the General Social Survey and Pew Research Center indicate that Americans have become increasingly tolerant of interracial marriages as measured by acceptance of such familial relationships (Livingston and Brown, 2017, Passel et al., 2010). Simultaneously, intermarriage (interracial among non-Hispanics or interethnic among Hispanics and non-Hispanics) rates for white and black Americans have increased, seemingly corroborating this sentiment. Contrasting, Hispanic and Asian intermarriage rates have remained static over similar periods. Puzzling at first glance, the differing directions in the change of intermarriage rates among these racial and ethnic groups coincide with changes in U.S. demographics due to the increasing share of Hispanic and Asian immigrants relative to Europeans as early as the 1960s. Then, even color-blind (random) matches would predict an increase in the intermarriage rates among white and black Americans while predicting decreases or stable intermarriage rates among Hispanic and Asian Americans. Thus, the extent to which whites and blacks have actionably become more accepting of intermarriage is unclear. Using plausibly exogenous settlement patterns of immigrants, I seek to parse out differences in meeting and marrying outside of own race/ethnicity from differences in preferences for endogamy over time by exploiting the spatial variation in changes of the natural (color-blind) intermarriage rates.

*Preliminary drafts available upon request.