Flash Session


PSTC Seminar Room, Mencoff Hall 205

Samantha Brady, Stephanie Hamin Kang, Xiangning Xu, Carolina Lopez, Ruchi Mahadeshwar, & Steven Lee


Samantha Brady
Title: The employment penalties associated with parental caregiving for older women
Abstract: As the U.S. population ages, the need for unpaid family caregivers to older adults continues to rise. Traditionally, the majority of family caregiving responsibilities for both children and older adults falls on women, many of whom are also juggling employment obligations. This research examines the extent to which older women experience employment penalties when transitioning to a caregiving role for aging parents.  

Stephanie Hamin Kang
Title: Information from Origin Country and Immigrant Behavior: Evidence from Immigrants’ Social Distancing Behavior During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the U.S.
Abstract: I exploit the different timing of COVID-19 outbreaks across countries to study the behavioral response of immigrants to new developments in their origin countries. I find that an increase in the percentage of population infected with COVID-19 in the origin country leads to an increase in the average level of social distancing for the relevant immigrant group in the United States.

Xiangning Xu
Title: Does low-income immigrants face more limited access to information in rental searching? Spatial polarization, Gentrification, and Online Rental Information Distribution
Abstract: Recent studies show that high-SES neighbourhoods with whiter and better-educated residents are over-represented on Craigslist, which means potential tenants of those neighbourhoods have more information available in their search for rental housing. How are immigrant neighbourhoods represented on Craigslist? Do hyperselected immigrants, the potential tenants of wealthier or gentrified neighborhoods, have better access to rental information than low-income, underprivileged immigrants? This study seeks to answer these questions by using the bay area as a case study. The bay area is particularly suitable for the purpose due to its high proportion of immigrants and mature rental market.


Carolina Lopez
Title: Tripping at the Finish Line: Experimental Evidence on the Role of Misperceptions on Secondary School Completion
Abstract: Even in contexts where access to education is not the main barrier for educational achievement, completion rates can be low. In Argentina, more than 90 percent of teenagers are enrolled in upper secondary school, but only 50 percent graduate on time. I conducted a field experiment in Salta, Argentina, to test if lack of information about how inputs translate into outputs may prevent students who attend classes until the last day of high school from getting their diploma.

To measure the relative importance of this treatment, I conducted a returns to education information intervention in a separate treatment arm. Providing information about the probability of graduation conditional on failed subjects and discussing intermediate steps to translate effort during the senior year of high school into graduation allows me to detect an increase in timely high school graduation by 5 percentage points, a 10 percent increase relative to the control group. Poor-performing students at baseline respond most to the treatment. The returns to education arm has a graduation rate that is increased by 10 percentage points. The magnitude is higher than the production function arm, but both treatments provide similar or even higher impacts than previous literature by targeting different sources of misperception. I also find that both treatments increase the probability of university enrollment by 5 percentage points (more than 30 percent relative to the control group). These findings indicate that targeted information may provide an inexpensive way to increase educational attainment in low-income settings.

Ruchi Mahadeshwar
Title: The Long Term Effects of India’s 1975-1977 “Emergency”-era Coercive Sterilizations” 
Abstract: India’s 1970’s “Emergency” (rule by decree period under the then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi) involved around 8.3M coercive sterilizations, representing 7% of all fertile-age households in India — we are interested in studying the consequences of this program over subsequent decades. In contrast to previous work in the literature, this setting allows us to study the consequences of a short-run shock to fertility that is coercive in nature and for which there is qualitative consensus of a broad, long-lasting set of impacts on affected regions. In addition to quantifying these impacts, we intend to explore potential mechanisms through standard economic models of demographic transition.

Steven Lee
Draft Title: Vaccine Effectiveness and Take-up: Evidence from Seasonal Influenza
Draft Abstract: The extent to which health-seeking behaviors are dependent on perceived or actual measures of effectiveness is important for designing public health policy. We study the relationship between effectiveness and take-up in the context of influenza vaccinations in the United States. Annual influenza immunization is close to universally encouraged, but vaccine take-up is relatively low. In order to establish a causal link, we outline an identification strategy that exploits both (a) the within-season, cross-state variation in prevalent influenza strains and (b) the cross-strain effectiveness of the vaccine, and show this induces variation in experienced vaccine effectiveness across states and time. We develop a model in which individuals update their beliefs about the effectiveness of vaccines based on their prior experiences with the vaccine—and the experiences of individuals in their social network—in the previous influenza season.