Working Papers

We characterize intergenerational income mobility at each college in the United States using data for over 30 million college students from 1999-2013. We document four results. First, access to colleges varies greatly by parent income.

We use detailed information from U.S. consumers' credit card purchases to provide the first large- scale description of the geography of consumption. We find that consumers' mobility is quite limited and document significant heterogeneity in the importance of gravity across sectors.

A maturing literature across the social sciences suggests important impacts of the intergenerational transmission of crime as well as peer effects that determine youth criminal activities.

In order to work legally, 29% of U.S. workers require an occupational license. We show that occupational licensing reduces the racial wage gap between white and black men by 43%, and the gender wage gap between women and white men by 36%-40%.

We exploit naturally occurring variation in the existence, closeness, and dissemination of pre-election polls to identify a causal effect of anticipated election closeness on voter turnout in Swiss referenda. Closer elections are associated with greater turnout only when polls exist.

We report from a large-scale randomized field experiment conducted on a unique sample of more than 15,000 taxpayers in Norway, who were likely to have misreported their foreign income.

Do people give primacy to merit when luck partly determines earnings? This paper reports from a novel experiment where third-party spectators have to decide whether to redistribute from a high-earner to a low-earner in cases where earnings are determined by luck and merit.

We analyze the financial value of insurance when individuals have access to credit markets. Loans allow consumers to smooth shocks across time, decreasing the value of the smoothing (across states of the world) provided by insurance.

Intergenerational income mobility varies significantly across Canada, with the landscape clustering into four broad regions. These are not geographically contiguous, and provincial boundaries are not the dividing lines.

In this paper we assess properties of commonly used estimates of total effects of obesity on mortality and identify consequences of these properties for inferences.