I am an economist and Kleinheinz Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. I work on topics across public and labor economics, often forming research partnerships with government agencies to improve public services and gain insight into social behavior. I am also a Research Affiliate at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) and an Affiliated Scholar with the Deliberative Democracy Lab at Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL).
I received a PhD in Economics from Harvard University and a BA in Economics and International Relations from Stanford University.
Office: Herbert Hoover Memorial Building (HHMB) 107
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford, CA 94305
Using data on the paths of all hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin from 1992 to 2017, this paper studies whether migration has served as a form of adaptation to hurricane risk. The findings show that on average hurricanes have little to no impact on county out-migration, with population-weighted exposure to hurricanes increasing slightly over the sample period. Counties with high economic activity see net in-migration in the years after a hurricane. Further, return migration likely plays a role in offsetting any out-migration in the year of the storm. The intensity of pre-hurricane migration between county pairs is a strong predictor of excess migration after a hurricane, suggesting that existing economic and social ties dominate in post-hurricane migration decisions. Given existing policies and incentives, the economic and social benefits that people derive from living in high-risk areas currently outweigh the incentive to adapt to future storms by relocating across counties.
Most U.S. government spending on highways and bridges is done through “scaling” procurement auctions, in which private construction firms submit unit price bids for each piece of material required to complete a project. Using data on bridge maintenance projects undertaken by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), we present evidence that firm bidding behavior in this context is consistent with optimal skewing under risk aversion: firms limit their risk exposure by placing lower unit bids on items with greater uncertainty. We estimate the amount of uncertainty in each auction, and the distribution of bidders’ private costs and risk aversion. Simulating equilibrium item-level bids under counterfactual settings, we estimate the fraction of project spending that is due to risk and evaluate auction mechanisms under consideration by policymakers. We find that scaling auctions provide substantial savings relative to lump sum auctions and show how our framework can be used to evaluate alternative auction designs.
We study the mental health of graduate students and faculty at 14 Economics departments in Europe. Using clinically validated surveys sent out in the fall of 2021, we find that 34.7% of graduate students experience moderate to severe symptoms of depression or anxiety and 17.3% report suicidal or self-harm ideation in a two-week period. Only 19.2% of students with significant symptoms are in treatment. 15.8% of faculty members experience moderate to severe depression or anxiety symptoms, with prevalence higher among non-tenure track (42.9%) and tenure track (31.4%) faculty than tenured (9.6%) faculty. We estimate that the COVID-19 pandemic accounts for about 74% of the higher prevalence of depression symptoms and 30% of the higher prevalence of anxiety symptoms in our European sample relative to a 2017 U.S. sample of economics graduate students. We also document issues in the work environment, including a high incidence of sexual harassment, and make recommendations for improvement.
Using administrative criminal records from Texas, we show how high temperatures affect the decision-making of police officers, prosecutors, and judges. We find that police reduce the number of arrests made per reported crime on the hottest days and that arrests made on these days are more likely to be dismissed in court. For prosecutors, high temperature on the day they announce criminal charges does not appear to affect the nature and severity of the charges. Judges, however, dismiss fewer cases, issue longer prison sentences, and levy higher fines when ruling on hot days. Our results suggest that the psychological and cognitive consequences of exposure to high temperatures have meaningful consequences for criminal defendants as they interact with the criminal justice system.
We use data on Jewish refugees resettled in the United States between 1938 and 2005, along with survey data on Israeli citizens born in the Former Soviet Union, to demonstrate the persistent downstream political consequences of socialization under left-wing authoritarian regimes. Using a within-family research design that allows us to identify the effect of spending more time under left-wing authoritarianism relative to younger siblings, we show that additional years spent under such regimes result in a higher likelihood of voting and of identifying with right-wing political parties after immigration to democratic countries.