Research

High School Role Models and Minority College Achievement

Large racial differences persist in college enrollment and major choice, which may be exacerbated by the racial distribution of high school teachers. I present the first evidence of the effect of high school students matching with same-race teachers on college outcomes. I also extend the literature on long-run effects of race-matching by presenting the first evidence on Hispanic and Asian students. To address endogenous sorting of students and teachers, I use detailed Texas administrative data on classroom assignment, exploiting variation in student and teacher race within the same course, year, and school, eliminating 99% of observed same-race sorting. Race-matching raises minority students' course performance as well as improves longer-term outcomes like high school graduation and college enrollment. Black and Hispanic students matching with a same-race teacher in a given subject also become more likely to major in that subject in college. Finally, I do not find any robust, significant effects of race-matching for White students, suggesting policies to make the teaching population more representative would likely benefit minority students with minimal negative trade-offs impacting the White student population.

Working Papers

Same-sex couples’ marital surplus, their excess total income over that predicted by their work times and predicted wages, increases little as the duration of their relationship lengthens. When/ where same-sex marriage is legal, it rises sharply as duration increases. The availability of legal domestic partnership or civil union has no effect on the surplus. The likelihood of home ownership conditional on demographic characteristics also increases with partnerships’ duration only when/where same-sex marriage is legal. These results, based on data from the American Community Survey 2013-17, support the notion that greater legal protection enhances partners’ incentives to invest in their relationship.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace (Draft Available on Request)

This paper presents the first quasi-experimental research examining the effect of both local and state anti-discrimination laws on sexual orientation on the labor supply and wages of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) workers. To do so, I use the American Community Survey data on household composition to infer sexual orientation and combine this with a unique panel dataset on local anti-discrimination laws. Using variation in law implementation across localities over time, I find that anti-discrimination laws significantly reduce gaps in labor force participation rate, employment, and the wage gap for gay men relative to straight men. These laws also significantly reduce the labor force participation rate, employment, and wage premium for lesbian women relative to straight women. One explanation for the reduced labor supply and wage premium is that lesbian couples begin to have more children in response to the laws, shifting to a more traditional household with one woman working fewer hours. Finally, I present evidence that state anti-discrimination laws significantly and persistently increased support for same-sex marriage. This research shows that anti-discrimination laws can be an effective policy tool for reducing labor market inequalities across sexual orientation.

PrEP and Moral Hazard - with Nir Eilam (Draft Available on Request)

Approved nationally in 2012, Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a drug that effectively prevents HIV infections, has the potential to save lives but also carries a risk of moral hazard if people engage in riskier sex practices after taking the drug due to lower HIV risk. We document the first evidence of PrEP on aggregate STD and HIV infections, showing there is an increase in STDs and a decrease in HIV infections in high PrEP states. Using the pre-treatment variation in the gay male population, we show that states with larger gay populations had much high male PrEP adoption. We show that male STD rates were parallel in states with high and low gay population before the introduction of PrEP and begin to diverge afterwards. However, HIV infections were consistently downwardly trending in high PrEP states before PrEP with no break at the introduction of PrEP, making inference of the effect of PrEP on HIV infections difficult. Specifically, we show that one additional male PrEP user increases male chlamydia infections by 0.76 cases, male gonorrhea infections by 0.90 cases, and male syphilis infections by 0.09 cases. We conduct a counterfactual analysis, suggesting that male chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases were 12%, 25%, and 34% higher in 2017 due to PrEP. However, the relative cost of treating these STDs is smaller than that of HIV, so we conduct a break-even analysis. For PrEP to be have higher benefits than costs, the 88,151 additional male PrEP users in 2017 would need to prevent only 47 male cases of HIV, a prevention rate of 0.05%

Non-Peer Reviewed Publications

Conference Presentations

American Economic Association (AEA), Janurary 2020, San Diego, CA. Panel Session: “Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace”

Southern Economic Association (SEA), November 2019, Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Panel Session: Job Market Paper

Stata Texas Microeconomics Conference, University of Houston, September 2019, Houston, TX. Poster Session: Job Market Paper

Western Economic Association International (WEAI), June 2019, San Francisco, CA. Panel Session: Job Market Paper

Midwestern Economic Association (MEA), March 2019, St. Louis, MO. Panel Session: “Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace”

Association for Education Finance Policy (AEFP), March 2019, Kansas City, MO. Poster Session: Job Market Paper

Association for Education Finance Policy (AEFP), March 2018, Portland, OR. Panel Session with Holly Kosiewicz, Trey Miller, and Richard Murphy: “Two for One? The Impact of Dual Credit Education on College Students’ Outcomes”

Western Economic Association International (WEAI), June 2017, San Diego, CA. Panel Session with Holly Kosiewicz, Trey Miller, and Richard Murphy: “Two for One? The Impact of Dual Credit Education on College Students’ Outcomes”