I study ways to reduce violence in urban settings and improve the life outcomes of disadvantaged youth and adults at the University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab.

I received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Statistics and Actuarial Science from New York University.

Curriculum Vitae

Publications

"Housing Voucher Take-Up and Labor Market Impacts" (with Eric Chyn and Joshua Hyman), Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 38(1): 65-98. Winter 2019.


"The Impact of Housing Assistance on Child Outcomes: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Lottery" (with Brian A. Jacob and Jens Ludwig), Quarterly Journal of Economics, 130(1): 465-506. February 2015.

Formerly: "Human Capital Effects of Anti-Poverty Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Lottery," NBER Working Paper 20164. May 2014. (posted 2014).

Working Papers

"Implementation as Intervention: Can Changing Management Practices Strengthen Policing in Chicago?" (with Terrence Neumann, Kimberley Smith, Alexander Heaton, and Jens Ludwig) (Job Market Paper)

How and why do management practices vary, and can changing them increase output? These questions have been easier for economists to answer for private-sector firms than for the public sector. In this paper, we examine what happens to output following the staggered introduction of new management practices across parts of one large, particularly important public agency: the Chicago Police Department (CPD). These management changes, called Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSCs), did not increase available officers but made better use of data and technology to target resources more effectively. We measure the SDSCs’ impact using a synthetic controls design, creating for each treated police district a comparison district resembling it. Because treated districts are outliers in the district-level crime rate distribution, we encounter challenges applying existing methods: they either fail to produce a similar comparison district or do so in a way that may compromise the reliability of the estimates. We propose several modifications to existing methods to address these shortcomings, and modify existing inference procedures to handle cases where there are few comparison units. We find that the SDSC in the 7th police district serving the Englewood neighborhood, historically one of the most violent in Chicago, decreased shootings by 26 percent. This seems to be accompanied by a shift in police focus towards higher social cost crimes (gun arrests) and higher risk people (arrests of those with open warrants), and an increase in community policing as measured by more recorded “positive community interactions.” We do not see statistically significant changes in other districts. The results suggest it is possible to raise public-sector output without large changes in inputs under the right conditions; understanding what those conditions are is an important priority for additional research.


"The Effect of Police Spending on Crime: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design" (with Philip J. Cook, Jens Ludwig, and Doug Miller)


"The Effect of Medicaid on Children's Educational Attainment: Evidence from Chicago"

In Progress

“Predicting and Preventing Gun Violence: An Experimental Evaluation of READI Chicago” (with Marianne Bertrand, Monica Bhatt, Chris Blattman, and Sara B. Heller)


"Providing Intensive Wraparound Supports for Disengaged Chicago Youth: A Randomized Evaluation" (with Nour Abdul-Razzak)


"Predicting Gun Violence" (with Sara B. Heller, Benjamin Jakubowski, and Zubin Jelveh)


"Improving Fatherhood Outcomes for Non-Resident Fathers" (with Isaac Ahuvia and Steve Raphael)