Job Market Paper:

Foster Care Providers and Educational Outcomes for Children

This paper estimates the causal impact of different types of foster home placements on human capital outcomes for children, focusing on the race and socioeconomic status of foster care providers. Using administrative data from Wisconsin and a caseworker propensity instrumental variables method to identify causal effects, I find that race matched providers increase attendance and decrease suspensions relative to non race matched providers for non white children. Further, I find that outcomes are better for children with lower income providers, and that school stability can help explain this pattern. Together, these findings suggest that the characteristics of the foster providers are a key component of match quality, suggesting that better matching and targeted recruitment could improve outcomes for children in out of home placement.

Working Papers:

Barton Hamilton, Andres Hincapie, Emma Kalish, and Nick Papageorge "Innovation and Health Disparities During a Pandemic: The Case of HIV." NBER working paper 28864.

We examine how medical innovation can reinforce existing health disparities by disproportionately benefiting socioeconomically advantaged patients. Previous work has generally focussed on price and access. We propose an additional channel: differences across sociodemographic groups in how health and work interact. To investigate the interplay between innovation and health disparities, we develop a lifecycle model in which the effect of medical treatment on labor supply varies across sociodemographic groups. We estimate the model using rich data on treatment choices and employment decisions of men infected with HIV. In the model, treatments can improve long-run health, but can also cause immediate side effects that interact with the utility cost of work. Estimates indicate that HIV-infected men often forego medication to avoid side effects, in part to remain employed. This effect is stronger for people with fewer years of education, leading to lower use of treatment and worse health outcomes. As a result, while a breakthrough HIV treatment---known as HAART---improved lifetime utility for all patients, it disproportionately benefitted those with higher levels of completed education, thereby reinforcing existing inequality. A simulation mandating HAART use worsens inequality, pushing low-education individuals out of the labor force. However, a counterfactual subsidy that increases non-labor income reduces employment for all education groups, but only increases adoption of HAART and improves health among lower-education individuals, who face a starker health-work tradeoff.

Work in Progress:

Emma Kalish and Robert Moffitt "The Great MTR Pivot in US Transfer Programs, 1983-2014"

A new analysis of marginal tax rates on earnings in low-income transfer programs in the U.S. from 1983 to 2014 reveals a major pivot in the schedule of those rates, dramatically falling for the lowest income families strongly rising for families with incomes slightly higher in the distribution. Median rates for the lowest income single mothers have fallen from 86% to -23% over the three decades while median rates for those with higher incomes have risen from 32% to 51%. Following these results, we will use the program parameters to estimate a labor supply model to understand the effects of the MTR pivot.

Emma Kalish and Jodi Miller "Expectations and Aspirations: What Matters"

This paper examines the differential effect of parental aspirations and expectations for their children's education. We find that the two concepts are distinct and have separate implications for parental behavior and child outcomes.