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Published Papers

  • The Asymmetric Gender Effects of High Flyers (with R. Fernàndez and E. Patacchini) (2022). Labour Economics 79: 102287. Link to Paper

Using longitudinal information on a representative sample of U.S. students, we study the effects of exposure to female and male "high flyers" in high school. We identify a causal effect by exploiting quasi-random variation to peers with highly-educated parents across grades within a school. Greater exposure to male high flyers decreases the likelihood that women obtain a bachelor's degree, lowers their math and science grades, decreases their LFP and increases fertility. They show lower levels of self-confidence/aspirations. The effects are found for girls with below median ability and for those with at least one college-educated parent. There are no effects of high flyers of either gender on boys.

Media Coverage: MarketWatch, Research Minutes Podcast

(This Paper was previously released as NBER Working Paper No. 25763 under the title "Girls, Boys, and High Achievers." Link to NBER Paper)

Despite evidence that infants affect families' economic and social behaviors, little is known about how young children influence their parents' political engagement. I show that U.S. women with an infant during an election year are 3.5 percentage points less likely to vote than women without children; men with an infant are 2.2 percentage points less likely to vote. Suggesting that this effect may be causal, I find no significant decreases in turnout the year before parents have an infant. Using a triple-difference approach, I then show that universal vote-by-mail systems mitigate the negative association between infants and mothers' turnout.

  • The Brother Earnings Penalty (with E. Patacchini) (2019). Labour Economics 58: 37-51. Link to Paper

        Media Coverage: The Independent

This paper examines the impact of sibling gender on adolescent experiences and adult labor market outcomes for a recent cohort of U.S. women. We document an earnings penalty from the presence of a younger brother (relative to a younger sister), finding that a next-youngest brother reduces adult earnings by about 7%. Using rich data on parent-child interactions, parents’ expectations, disruptive behaviors, and adult outcomes, we provide a first step at examining the mechanisms behind this result. We find that brothers reduce parents’ expectations and school monitoring of female children while also increasing females’ propensity to engage in more traditionally feminine tasks. These factors help explain a portion of the labor market penalty from brothers.

Book Chapters


  • Peer Effects in Education (with E. Patacchini) (2021). The Routledge Handbook of the Economics of Education, pp. 253-275. Link to Chapter

Working Papers 

  • Resilience of Faith: Post-Covid Religious Trends and the Effect of Ecclesiastical Policy in the United States (with C. Esparza and J. Park) Link to Paper
    Utilizing mobility data from 15 million smartphone users, we examine the pandemic’s impact on in-person religious attendance in the US. Attendance declined sharply in March 2020 and recovered slowly thereafter. Notably, religious attendance rebounded more gradually than other activities like restaurant visits. There were also variations across religious groups, with Catholics returning at a slower pace than Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. By 2022, Protestants and Catholics reached around 85-90 percent of their 2019 attendance; other groups such as Latter-day Saints, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus had fully returned to pre-pandemic levels. We then introduce a novel approach to examine the impact of religious policies on behavior, leveraging variations in the timing of dispensation rescissions by US Catholic bishops. Using a difference-in-differences event study model, we find a short-term 2-4 percentage point increase in Catholic weekend church attendance following the lifting of dispensations, compared to the 2019 baseline. However, this effect fades over time and is smaller than the attendance surge seen after reopening churches post-lockdowns. These results suggest that religious policies impact behavior, though their effects may be transient.​

  • Faith and Philanthropy: Megachurch Scandals and Charitable Giving (new draft coming soon!)

Work in Progress

  • Birth order in the very long-run: Estimating first-born premiums between 1850 and 1940 (with J. Grooms, K. Karbownik, J. Price, S. O’Keefe, and A. Wray)

  • Occupational Segregation, Gender and Career Choices (with G. Olivero, E. Patacchini and N. Szembrot)

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