Published or Forthcoming
I estimate the impact of a Louisiana state policy that mandated FAFSA applications as a high school graduation requirement. I find significant increases in FAFSA completion rates (19 percentage points), and my estimates imply an increase of 1-2 percentage points in college enrollment. There is suggestive evidence that these effects were more concentrated among lower-income students/schools and merit-based state financial aid applications also increased. The design of this mandate implies that pushing students into action may be more effective than informational nudges and that localized support systems such as counselors are important for the success of a top-down policy.
Job Market Paper
Local Labor Markets and Selection into the Teaching Profession (pdf)
Using administrative data from Texas, I track individuals from high school through college to the workforce to determine the effects of local labor markets on selection into teaching. I find that local labor market conditions are countercyclical with selection into teaching. I also show that these local labor market conditions have the largest influence when experienced during high school. On average, individuals who sort into teaching because of poor local labor market conditions are of higher ability (standardized tests) and have higher value-added. Further, poor local labor market conditions drive individuals toward certification in at least one shortage area (bilingual/ESL) and weakly away from general elementary studies. The results are consistent with updated beliefs over employment probabilities or changes to risk preferences such that teaching is perceived as a relatively more stable career path. The findings suggest that local labor market fluctuations shape career decisions well before individuals participate in the labor market, and that increasing the relative economic standing of teaching as a career has the potential to improve the future supply of teachers.
Works in Progress
Sharp Identified Parameters in Matching Models: Intermarriage in the US (with Abhi Ananth)
Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Roles: College Major Choice and Women's Relative Wages
*Preliminary drafts available upon request.