Published and Forthcoming Work
In recent years, many hospitals, primarily in rural areas, have eliminated maternity care. The loss of maternity wards could affect births in multiple ways. Increased travel distance following closure could decrease utilization of prenatal care or increase outof-hospital births. At the same time, closures could expose women to providers with more experience or better practices. I study the impact of maternity ward closures on births in the United States using national Vital Statistics data and a matched difference-in-differences research design. I find evidence that maternity ward closures yielded benefits. I document a large decline in Cesarean births among low-risk women, with null effects on infant health outcomes. My findings suggest hospitals that closed maternity wards were over-performing Cesarean sections.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals granted more than 900,000 temporary work permits to eligible immigrants. I estimate the impact of the policy on the labor market outcomes of natives and immigrants ineligible to take up the policy using ACS data and a continuous difference-in-differences strategy to compare individuals who are more and less exposed to the eligible population. I find that DACA does not depress labor market outcomes for natives, and possibly increases the fraction working. I also find that the policy likely had no impact on ineligible immigrants.
This study investigates the impact of malaria eradication programs on black-white economic disparities in the early 1900s US South. Malaria eradication was widespread and improved health across races. Yet only white men experienced economic benefits. Using matched census records, we find that increased exposure to the program was associated with higher schooling attainment and income for whites, but not for blacks. Blacks exposed to malaria eradication were more likely to be farm laborers, and both blacks and whites were more likely to migrate out of state. Our findings suggest that malaria eradication, a broadly-applied intervention, widened racial gaps.