Working in Progress

Papers Under Review


Do Public Libraries Impact Local Labor Markets? Evidence from Appalachia [WP link]

This paper investigates the effect of public library programs and participation on unemployment and labor force participation in Appalachia. Appalachia is an economically distressed area, mostly rural, and with a sustained lower level of labor force participation and a higher level of unemployment. As public library programs can be countercyclical to labor market outcomes, I use public library staff and the amount of print resources and computers available as instruments. The results show that neither adult nor children’s programs and participation affect local labor market outcomes. These results are robust across different specifications. Spatial econometric estimates corroborate the main results and provide evidence of spatial spillover effects, especially for children’s programs.


Localization Economies and Firm Productivity: Evidence from Football Teams in São Paulo, Brazil (with Brad Humphreys) [WP Link]

Agglomeration economies clearly affect firms in urban areas. Interestingly, the existing literature on outcomes in professional sports largely ignores localization economies. We explore the variation in team productivity and the agglomeration of teams across leagues and cities in Campeonato Paulista an annual football competition played by teams in São Paulo state in Brazil. Our results show that localization and urbanization positively affect team success. These results help to shed more light on why teams in larger cities continuously enjoy more success than those isolated in smaller markets.


Do Public Libraries Help Mitigate Crime? Evidence from Kansas City, MO (with Jennifer Nowicki and Shishir Shakya) [WP Link]

We examine the relationship between public libraries and local crime rates. Previous studies have looked at different factors that could account for changes in crime, but few have focused on cultural institutions as a primary factor. Using crime data from the Crime Open Database and library data from the Public Library Survey, we leverage the geolocation of crimes and libraries and explore opening a new public library branch in Kansas City, MO. We use a difference-in-difference strategy. Our results show that public library may reduce crime within its nearby proximity. In particular, we find within the nearby proximity of the library a substantial reduction of burglary, vandalism, robbery, fraud, and assault. However, such effects vanish in the distant proximity of the library


Regional and Sectorial Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic In Sergipe, Brazil (with Luiz Ribeiro, Morais Laudenor, and Luiz Carlos Gama)

This paper aims at estimating the regional and sectoral impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state of Sergipe, Brazil in 2020. To do so, we use an input-output model with partial hypothetical extraction. The main results suggest that there would be a significant reduction in economic activity in the state, particularly in the Transport and Industry sectors. On the other hand, the Real Estate and Food and Accommodation sectors would have a greater capacity for recovery with the introduction of an emergency aid program. The municipalities with the greatest absolute impact on GDP would be Aracaju, Canindé de São Francisco and Nossa Senhora do Socorro.


Assessing production structures in Brazil with time varying graphs (with Hernane Pereira, Luiz Ribeiro, Eder Pereira, Roberto Monteiro, and Valter de Senna)

This paper uses time varying graphs to evaluate the Brazilian production structures, assessing the relationship across economic sectors overtime given important macroeconomic shocks in the country. We use the annual Brazilian input-output matrices from the World Input–Output Database for the period 1995–2011. Our results show possible positive impacts of macroeconomic policies and higher commodity prices on increased network connectivity between 2002 and 2003, the negative influence of the 2008 crisis resulting in decreased network connectivity, and the intensification of the connectivity of the food, petrochemical and metals, and machinery sectors. These results provide insights on how potential macroeconomic exogenous shocks and policies propagates through the national production structure.

Working Papers

(drafts available upon request)


The Effects of Dollar General Opening on Next Door Firms (with Amelia Biehl)

Dollar General plans to open 1,000 new stores in 2020 in the United States and can already be found in 44 states. Using a unique business plan, Dollar General is low-cost retailer that makes shopping convenient by utilizing small stores, rather than the traditional big box approach, with (thus far) only speculative impacts on their competitors. Using the National Establishment Time Series dataset for the state of Florida between 2000 and 2014 we exploit the difference in timing of Dollar General openings to investigate its effect on businesses nearby. Specifically, we quantify the effects on nearby firm revenue, entry, and exit, as well as the composition of area businesses. The unique nature of the NETs data allow us to focus on the impacts of businesses within a 0.5 mile radius, 1 mile radius, and 5 mile radius, rather than using pre-defined geo-political boundaries. In addition, we investigate differential impacts in urban and rural areas.


Identification and Concentration of Same-Sex Households (with Mia Goodnature and Adam Nowak)

This paper identifies same-sex couple households who purchase homes together and evaluates the concentration of their residential location. We draw upon a novel data set of real estate transactions from Miami-Dade County, Florida; Franklin County, Ohio; and King County, Washington. We are able to separately identify male same-sex couple homebuyers and female same-sex couple homebuyers at the property level by predicting the homebuyers’ sex based on homebuyers’ full names. To show that the method suggested in this paper to identify members of the LGBTQ+ community is identifying same-sex couple homebuyers, we compare distributions from the Decennial Census and look at summary statistics of houses purchased by same-sex couples.


Firm Mobility and Hurricanes (with Rushaine Goulbourne and Amanda Ross)

We explore the effect of hurricanes on whether or not an establishment moves. The analysis is conducted using the National Establishment Time Series (NETS) data for Florida, which is an extensive establishment-level panel database. We find that hurricanes are associated with an increase in the likelihood an establishment moves, especially within the state of Florida. We also find that capital intensive firms are more likely to move after a hurricane and that moves are most likely to occur within a year of the hurricane. Our findings are important because the out-migration of establishments following a hurricane may have long-run economic impacts on the areas that experience these disasters. Local leaders should consider disaster preparedness tactics carefully as it relates to possible loss of businesses.


Unpublished Manuscripts

Does Corruption Impact the Informal-Formal Sector Wage Gap? Evidence from Brazil (with Jamie Bologna) [WP link]

This paper investigates the relationship between political corruption and the informal-formal sector income gap. We focus on a sample of 476 randomly selected municipalities in Brazil, and combine individual level Census data with measures of municipal corruption. We first document the upward pressure corruption puts on the informal-formal income gap. We then utilize a measure of mismanagement by governmental officials as an instrument for corruption to show that these results are robust to plausibly exogenous variation in corruption. When disaggregating the results, we show that the effect of corruption is heterogeneous across industries, with a significant impact on the construction industry in particular.