NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Adam Isen

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Working Papers

January 2014Every Breath You Take – Every Dollar You’ll Make: The Long-Term Consequences of the Clean Air Act of 1970
with Maya Rossin-Slater, W. Reed Walker: w19858
This paper examines the long-term impacts of in-utero and early childhood exposure to ambient air pollution on adult labor market outcomes. We take advantage of a new administrative data set that is uniquely suited for addressing this question because it combines information on individuals' quarterly earnings together with their counties and dates of birth. We use the sharp changes in ambient air pollution concentrations driven by the implementation of the 1970 Clean Air Act Amendments as a source of identifying variation, and we compare cohorts born in counties that experienced large changes in total suspended particulate (TSP) exposure to cohorts born in counties that had minimal or no changes. We find a significant relationship between TSP exposure in the year of birth and adult labor m...
December 2011Children’s Schooling and Parents’ Investment in Children: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study
with Alexander M. Gelber: w17704
Parents may have important effects on their children, but little work in economics explores whether children's schooling opportunities crowd out or encourage parents' investment in children. We analyze data from the Head Start Impact Study, which granted randomly-chosen preschool-aged children the opportunity to attend Head Start. We find that Head Start causes a substantial increase in parents' involvement with their children—such as time spent reading to children, math activities, or days spent with children by fathers who do not live with their children—both during and after the period when their children are potentially enrolled in Head Start. We discuss a variety of mechanisms that are consistent with our findings, including a simple model we present in which Head Start impacts pare...

Published: “Children’s Schooling and Parents’ Behavior: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study,” with Adam Isen, Journal of Public Economics 2013, 101, 25-38.

February 2010Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility
with Betsey Stevenson: w15725
This paper examines how marital and fertility patterns have changed along racial and educational lines for men and women. Historically, women with more education have been the least likely to marry and have children, but this marriage gap has eroded as the returns to marriage have changed. Marriage and remarriage rates have risen for women with a college degree relative to women with fewer years of education. However, the patterns of, and reasons for, marriage have changed. College educated women marry later, have fewer children, are less likely to view marriage as “financial security”, are happier in their marriages and with their family life, and are not only the least likely to divorce, but have had the biggest decrease in divorce since the 1970s compared to women without a college ...

Published: Adam Isen & Betsey Stevenson, 2008. "Women’s Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Topics in Demography and the Economy National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

March 2008On Inferring Demand for Health Care in the Presence of Anchoring, Acquiescence, and Selection Biases
with Jay Bhattacharya: w13865
In the contingent valuation literature, both anchoring and acquiescence biases pose problems when using an iterative bidding game to infer willingness to pay. Anchoring bias occurs when the willingness to pay estimate is sensitive to the initially presented starting value. Acquiescence bias occurs when survey respondents exhibit a tendency to answer 'yes' to questions, regardless of their true preferences. More generally, whenever a survey format is used and not all of those contacted participate, selection bias raises concerns about the representativeness of the sample. In this paper, we estimate students' willingness to pay for student health care at Stanford University while accounting for all of these biases. As there is no cost sharing for students, we assess willingness to pay by...

Published: Jay Bhattacharya & Adam Isen, 2009. "On Inferring Demand for Health Care in the Presence of Anchoring and Selection Biases," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, Berkeley Electronic Press, vol. 12(2).

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