All posts by agp3149

MPES Welcomes Elira Kuka

“Do Human Capital Decisions Respond to the Returns to Education? Evidence from DACA”

Elira Kuka
Assistant Professor of Economics
Southern Methodist University

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
 1:00 – 2:00PM
Annenberg G02

Elira Kuka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Southern Methodist University, as well as a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a Research Affiliate at IZA – Institute of Labor Economics. Prior to joining SMU in 2015, she received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Davis.

Elira’s research interests are centered around understanding how government policies affect individual behavior and family wellbeing, to what extent they provide social insurance, and how effectively they alleviate poverty and inequality. Specifically, her current work focuses on analyzing: i) the potential benefits of U.S. safety net programs, which include Unemployment Insurance (UI), Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI); ii) policies that affect academic achievement and reduce socioeconomics gaps; and iii) the protective power of the U.S. safety net during recessions.

MPES Colloquium Talk with Marshall Jean 1/12

“On the Move: Assessing the Immediate Impacts of School and Residential Mobility on Student Achievement”

Marshall Jean
IPR Postdoctoral Fellow

Friday, Jan. 12, 2018
 12:00 – 1:00PM
Annenberg G02

Marshall Jean joined IPR in the summer of 2016 after receiving his PhD in Sociology and Certificate of Education Sciences from the University of Chicago. A native of Louisiana, he has taught in a public high school in France as well as undergraduate and graduate courses on education policy and statistics. He specializes in large-scale quantitative analysis. His recent research includes the study of how student mobility affects learning growth rates, the use of surveys of student perceptions in evaluating classroom environments, the effects of homogenous ability grouping and tracking on academic engagement and learning behaviors, and the interpretation of value-added test scores.

MPES Welcomes SESP Alum Claudia Persico

“The Roles of Neonatal Health and Race in Special Education Identification

Claudia Persico
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
University of Wisconsin – Madison

Wednesday, December 6th
Annenberg 303

Claudia Persico is an economics and neuroscience-oriented policy scholar with interests in inequality, education policy and early childhood health. Her research on school finance reform has recently been featured in the Quarterly Journal of Economics (“The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence From School Finance Reforms” with C. Kirabo Jackson and Rucker C. Johnson). Her current work examines the social and biological mechanisms underlying the relationships between poverty, the environment, and children’s cognitive development and health. In particular, much of her current research focuses on how early exposure to environmental pollution can cause inequality by affecting child health, development, behavior, and academic achievement, and how the conditions of poverty affect children’s likelihood of having a disability.

MPES Welcomes Marcus Casey

Please join MPES for a colloquium talk:

“Academic Probation, Student Performance and Strategic Course Taking

Marcus Casey
Assistant Professor of Economics
University of Illinois at Chicago

Wednesday, November 29th
Annenberg 303

Watch the livestream or recording here!

We use a regression discontinuity design to study how academic probation affects outcomes and course- taking behaviors at a large public university in the US. Consistent with past work, students placed on probation improve their GPA in the subsequent semester. We document that part of this GPA improvement is attributable to strategic course-taking, and there is significant heterogeneity in these behaviors across race. Non-minority students placed on probation attempt fewer credits, easier courses, and are more likely to withdraw from courses in the following term. In contrast, underrepresented minorities exhibit few of these behaviors, consistent with past work that suggests black and Hispanic students are less likely to possess helpful institutional knowledge and use available support systems such as academic counseling.

MPES Welcomes Harry Holzer and Sandy Baum

Please join MPES for a colloquium talk:

“Making College Work: Pathways to Success for Disadvantaged Students”

Sandy Baum
Senior Fellow
Urban Institute

Harry Holzer
John LaFarge Jr. SJ Professor of Public Policy
Georgetown University

Wednesday, November 1st
Annenberg 303

Watch the recording here!

Too many disadvantaged college students in America spend time and money on coursework without graduating or earning credentials, while others earn degrees or certificates that hold little labor market value. Many of these students also struggle to pay for college, and some incur debts they have difficulty repaying. Harry Holzer of Georgetown University and the Urban Institute’s Sandy Baum propose a range of policy solutions aimed at alleviating difficulties faced by too many of America’s college students, including weak academic preparation, financial pressures, and institutional failures that create barriers to success.