Leonard Goff

Welcome! I am an assistant professor of economics at the University of Calgary. My research is primarily in applied econometrics and in labor economics, and I also have interests in environmental and public economics.

You can reach me at leonard.goff@ucalgary.ca.

Research

Working Papers

  • Treatment Effects in Bunching Designs: The Impact of the Federal Overtime Rule on Hours
    • [Appendices]
    • Abstract: The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act mandates overtime premium pay for most U.S. workers, but limited variation in the rule has made assessing its labor market impacts difficult. With data from individual paychecks, I use the extent to which firms bunch workers at the overtime threshold of 40 hours in a week to estimate the rule's effect on hours. Generalizing previous methods, I show that bunching at a choice-set kink partially identifies an average causal response to the policy switch at the kink, under nonparametric assumptions about preferences and heterogeneity. The bounds indicate a small elasticity of demand for hours.
  • Identifying the buncher LATE

  • A Vector Monotonicity Assumption for Multiple Instruments
    • [Supplemental Material]
    • Abstract: When a researcher wishes to use multiple instrumental variables for a single binary treatment, the familiar LATE monotonicity assumption can become restrictive: it requires that all units share a common direction of response even when different instruments are shifted in opposing directions. What I call vector monotonicity, by contrast, simply restricts treatment status to be monotonic in each instrument separately. This is a natural assumption in many contexts, capturing the intuitive notion of "no defiers" for each instrument. I show that in a setting with a binary treatment and multiple discrete instruments, a class of causal parameters is point identified under vector monotonicity, including the average treatment effect among units that are responsive to any particular subset of the instruments. I propose a simple "2SLS-like" estimator for the family of identified treatment effect parameters. An empirical application revisits the labor market returns to college education.
  • Interactions between Family and School Environments: Access to Abortion and Selective Schools
    • (with Ofer Malamud, Cristian Pop-Eleches and Miguel Urquiola)
    • Abstract: We use Romanian data to ask whether the benefit of access to better schools is larger for children who experienced better family environments because their parents had access to abortion. We combine regression discontinuity and differences-in-differences designs to estimate impacts on a high-stakes school-leaving exam. We find that access to abortion and access to better schools each have positive impacts, but find no consistent evidence of interactions between these impacts. To the extent a pattern emerges, it is suggestive of substitutability rather than complementarity of family and school environments.

Work in Progress

  • The Career Impact of First Jobs: Evidence and Labor Market Design Lessons from Randomized Choice Sets
  • Do Firms Fully Exploit Their Labor Market Power in Setting Wages? Evidence from Canada
  • Identifying Compensating Variation from Subjective Reports

Publications

Outside of economics:

Curriculum Vitae

Teaching Materials

Statistics for Econometrics (Fall 2021; UGA ECON8070)

  • Class notes: [PDF]

    Senior Honors Thesis Workshop (Fall 2019; Columbia ECON GU4999)

    (Professor: Michael Best)

    Microeconometrics (Fall 2018; Columbia ECON GR6414)

  • Code

    Visit my Github

    Some software projects:

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