I am an
Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. My research interests are
education, public finance and health.
I am an Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. My research interests are education, public finance and health.
Parent-Child Information Frictions and Human Capital Investment: Evidence from a Field Experiment
Investment (New Draft)
This paper uses a field experiment to answer how information frictions between parents
and their children affect the inputs to human capital formation and how much reducing
these frictions can improve student achievement. I model the interaction between
parents and their child as a persuasion game with monitoring and incentives. I
show that parents have upwardly-biased beliefs about their child's effort, which
is associated with lower performance. In Los Angeles, a random sample of parents
was provided detailed information about their child's academic progress. More
information allows parents to induce more effort
from their children, which translates into significant gains in achievement.
However, additional information also changes parents' beliefs about their
child's effort, which spurs further parental monitoring. Relative to other
interventions, additional information to parents potentially produces
gains in achievement at a low cost.
Successful Schools and Risky Behaviors Among
(forthcoming, Pediatrics. with Mitchell Wong, Karen Coller, Rebecca Dudovitz, David Kennedy, Richard Buddin, Martin Shapiro, Sheryl Kataoka, Arleen Brown, Chi Hong Tseng, and Paul Chung)
Research in Progress
Educational Attainment and School Desegregation: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries (Email for paper)
This paper studies peer effects and the long-run impact of a court-ordered
desegregation ruling on education outcomes. This ruling mandates that
seven school districts, which serve higher-income, predominantly-white
families, accept a fixed number of minority elementary school students
each year who apply to transfer from a nearby, predominantly minority
school district. The fixed number of slots are allocated to families
via lottery. The offer to transfer increases the number of students
who enroll in college by seven percentage points. This result is
driven by greater attendance to two-year and public colleges,
though there are heterogeneous effects overall. A secondary
analysis provides suggestive evidence that peer enrollment matters.
Increases in the share of Black or Hispanic students who receive
an offer to transfer impacts the likelihood of college attendance
among other students who receive the same offer.
In theory, the publication of performance ratings may improve performance through reputation concerns or impede performance by demoralizing employees through embarrassment and stress. This paper uses school-district data and a regression discontinuity design to answer how consumers and employees respond to making performance information public. We find that teachers with high ratings taught higher-quality students with larger classes following publication. Teachers who were published do not perform significantly better or worse than teachers who were not published, on average. This lack of effect is due to the heterogeneous impact of publication; high-rated teachers perform worse following publication while low-rated teachers perform better.
Technology Adoption in Education: Spillovers, Intensity and Student Achievement (Coming soon)
Previous research shows that significant information asymmetries can exist within
families and providing detailed information to parents about their child's academic
performance can significantly improve student achievement. Many school districts
accomplish the latter at scale via technology that places student information online
for parents. This paper uses a two-stage experiment across 55 schools and three
districts to study the adoption of this technology by parents along extensive and
intensive margins as well as spillovers and effects on student outcomes.
Adoption follows a typical S-shape; significant spillovers occur along
intensive but not extensive margins; and student achievement improves as a result.
The Impact of Tax Credit and Financial Aid
Information on College Outcomes: Evidence from a Large-Scale
Field Experiment (with Jeff Denning, Day Manoli, and Nick Turner)
Does Information on School Quality Impact Residential Choice? Evidence from a Field Experiment (with Matt Hill and Heather Schwartz)
Engaging Parents as a Means to Address Educational and Health Behavioral Outcomes: Evidence from a Field Experiment (with Rebecca Dudovitz, Anne Escaron and Mitchell Wong)