Department of Economics
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: University of Virginia
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2019||The Returns to Early-life Interventions for Very Low Birth Weight Children|
with Samantha Gold, Justine S. Hastings: w25753
We use comprehensive administrative data from Rhode Island to measure the impact of early-life interventions for low birth weight newborns on later-life outcomes. We use a regression discontinuity design based on the 1,500-gram threshold for Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) status. We show that threshold crossing causes more intense in-hospital care, in line with prior studies. Threshold crossing also causes a 0.34 standard deviation increase in test scores in elementary and middle school, a 17.1 percentage point increase in the probability of college enrollment, and $66,997 decrease in social program expenditures by age 14. We explore potential mechanisms driving these impacts.
|January 2019||The Causal Impact of Removing Children from Abusive and Neglectful Homes|
with Anthony Bald, Justine S. Hastings, Margarita Machelett: w25419
This paper uses administrative data to measure causal impacts of removing children from families investigated for abuse or neglect. We use the removal tendency of quasi-experimentally assigned child protective service investigators as an instrument for whether authorities removed and placed children into foster care. Our main analysis estimates impacts on educational outcomes by gender and age at the time of an investigation. We find that removal significantly increases standardized test scores for young girls. There are no detectable impacts on the test scores of girls removed at older ages or boys of any age. For older children, we also find few significant impacts of removal on the likelihood of having a juvenile conviction, graduating from high school, enrolling in a postsecondary inst...
|January 2014||Advertising and Environmental Stewardship: Evidence from the BP Oil Spill|
with Lint Barrage, Justine Hastings: w19838
This paper explores whether private markets can incentivize environmental stewardship. We examine the consumer response to the 2010 BP oil spill and test how BP's investment in the 2000-2008 “Beyond Petroleum” green advertising campaign affected this response. We find evidence consistent with consumer punishment: BP station margins and volumes declined by 2.9 cents per gallon and 4.2 percent, respectively, in the month after the spill. However, pre-spill advertising significantly dampened the price response, and may have reduced brand switching by BP stations. These results indicate that firms may have incentives to engage in green advertising without investments in environmental stewardship.