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Collaborative Research: Pollution Mitigation and Productivity in Developing Countries

The economies of many developing countries have experienced huge transformations over the past 20 years, but a major cost of development has been air and water pollution. The fact that pollution remains a central problem suggests that it may be very costly to mitigate pollution, in terms of lost productivity and revenues. An opposing view is the "Porter hypothesis" that postulates that environmental policies lead to greater productivity.

Citizen Scrutiny and Government Efforts to Fight Corruption

Corruption in government partly accounts for the slow economic and social progress in many parts of the world. This research will use two projects to investigate how best to efficiently decrease corruption in government contracting. Governments have limited capacity to monitor all aspects of government activity, hence they rely on citizens volunteering information to fight corruption. However, citizens have their own interests and may not possess the same training and capabilities as government workers.

Inequality and Welfare in a Low Rate Environment

The past forty years have been characterized by a secular decline in interest rates and, relatedly, an increase in asset valuations. This proposal consists of two projects that examine the distributional effects of declining interest rates. The first project explores the effect of declining interest rates on wealth inequality. The second examines the welfare implications of declining interest rates by focusing on who gains and who loses from this trend. The project further collects detailed data on high wealth income, and granular data on asset purchases from financial filings and surveys.

Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Residential Segregation and Neighbor-Based Informal Hiring

Place-based job policies, such as informal neighborhood job search, are common tools to promote local job growth and reduce regional economic inequality. It is however not clear what makes a neighborhood good for job search. This research project will study one such mechanism---the use of neighbor networks in job search. It explores which type of neighborhood---segregated or integrated, by race and by education---is more conducive to a successful job search. Disentangling the neighborhood effects on job search is difficult partly because people self-select into neighborhoods.

Doctoral Dissertation Research in Economics: Information Asymmetry in Job Search

Wage gaps across race and gender persist among equally educated individuals, and have been attributed in significant part to differences in behavior during job search. Economic theory suggests that access to information about the labor market influences behavior. If information differs across groups, either in quantity or quality, this can lead to differences in job choice. Across race and gender, unequal access to networks and mentoring has been shown to give rise to these information gaps.


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