Institutional Affiliation: University of Southern Denmark
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2019||Yield Performance of Corn under Heat Stress: A Comparison of Hybrid and Open-Pollinated Seeds during a Period of Technological Transformation, 1933–1955|
with Paul W. Rhode
in Economics of Research and Innovation in Agriculture, Petra Moser, editor
Starting in the 1930s, commercial hybrid corn seeds rapidly replaced the once predominate open-pollinated varieties planted by farmers. By the mid-1950s almost all corn grown in the United States was of hybrid varieties. Observers have argued that the drought tolerant qualities of these hybrids were a major factor driving farmers’ decisions regarding hybrid adoption, but there is little statistical evidence to substantiate this assertion. Hybrid seeds exhibited other attractive qualities, such as improved performance during prime weather conditions, resistance to wind damage, and increased suitability toward mechanized harvesting. Using historical evidence from Zvi Griliches’s archival records, we reconstruct data on hybrid corn adoption and yields at a more disaggregated geographic level ...
|September 2017||Paralyzed by Panic: Measuring the Effect of School Closures during the 1916 Polio Pandemic on Educational Attainment|
with Melissa A. Thomasson: w23890
We leverage the 1916 polio pandemic in the United States as a natural experiment to test whether short-term school closures result in reduced educational attainment as an adult. With over 23,000 cases of polio diagnosed in 1916, officials implemented quarantines and closed schools. Since the pandemic occurred during the start of the 1916 school year, children of working age may have elected not to return to school. Using state-level polio morbidity as a proxy for schooling disruptions, we find that children ages 14-17 during the pandemic had less educational attainment in 1940 compared to their slightly older peers.