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Author:Aliprantis, Dionissi 

Journal Article
Measuring Deaths from COVID-19

Medical data are new to the analyses and deliberations of Federal Reserve monetary policymakers, but such data are now of primary importance to policymakers who need to understand the virus’s trajectory to assess economic conditions and address the virus’s impacts on the economy. The number of deaths caused by COVID-19 is one key metric that is often referred to, but as with other COVID metrics, it is a challenge to measure accurately. We discuss the issues involved in measuring COVID-19 deaths and argue that the change in the number of directly observed COVID-19 deaths is the most ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2020 , Issue 18 , Pages 7

Working Paper
Can Wealth Explain Neighborhood Sorting by Race and Income?

Why do high-income blacks live in neighborhoods with characteristics similar to those of low-income whites? One plausible explanation is wealth, since homeownership requires some wealth, and black households hold less wealth than white households at all levels of income. We present evidence against this hypothesis by showing that wealth does not predict sorting into neighborhood quality once race and income are taken into account. An alternative explanation is that the scarcity of high-quality black neighborhoods increases the cost of living in a high-quality neighborhood for black households ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1808

Working Paper
Redshirting, compulsory schooling laws, and educational attainment

A wide literature uses date of birth as an instrument to study the causal effects of educational attainment. This paper shows how parents delaying their children?s initial enrollment in kindergarten, a practice known as redshirting, can make estimates obtained through this identification framework all but impossible to interpret. A latent index model is used to illustrate how the monotonicity assumption in this framework is violated if redshirting decisions are made in a setting of essential heterogeneity. Empirical evidence is presented from the ECLS-K data set that favors this scenario; ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1012

Working Paper
Assessing the evidence on neighborhood effects from Moving to Opportunity

This paper investigates the assumptions under which various parameters can be identified by the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) housing mobility experiment. Joint models of potential outcomes and selection into treatment are used to clarify the current interpretation of empirical evidence, distinguishing program effects from neighborhood effects. It is shown that MTO only identifi es a restricted subset of the neighborhood effects of interest, with empirical evidence presented that MTO does not identify effects from moving to high quality neighborhoods. One implication is that programs designed ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1122R

Working Paper
Neighborhood dynamics and the distribution of opportunity

This paper uses an overlapping-generations dynamic general equilibrium model of residential sorting and intergenerational human capital accumulation to investigate effects of neighborhood externalities. In the model, households choose where to live and how much to invest toward the production of their child?s human capital. The return on the parent?s investment is determined in part by the child?s ability and in part by an externality from the average human capital in their neighborhood. We use the model to test a prominent hypothesis about the concentration of poverty within ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1212

Working Paper
Neighborhood Sorting Obscures Neighborhood Effects in the Opportunity Atlas

The Opportunity Atlas (OA) is an innovative data set that ranks neighborhoods according to children’s adult outcomes in several domains, including income. Conceptually, outcomes offer new evidence about neighborhood effects when measured in isolation from neighborhood sorting. This paper shows that neighborhood sorting contributes to OA estimates. We document cases in which small sample sizes and changes over time can explain disagreements between OA rankings and those based on contemporaneous variables. Our results suggest caution for interpretations of the OA data set at a granular level, ...
Working Papers , Paper 20-37

Journal Article
The Racial Wealth Gap and Access to Opportunity Neighborhoods

Some Black households live in neighborhoods with lower incomes, as well as higher unemployment rates and lower educational attainment, than their own incomes might suggest, and this may impede their economic mobility. We investigate reasons for the neighborhood sorting patterns we observe and find that differences in financial factors such as income, wealth, or housing costs between Black and white households do not explain racial distributions across neighborhoods. Our findings suggest other factors are at work, including discrimination in the housing market, ongoing racial hostility, or ...
Economic Commentary , Volume 2021 , Issue 18 , Pages 5

Working Paper
Community-based well maintenance in rural Haiti

The international community has pledged $11 billion to Haiti, a country where nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) provide nearly all public goods and services. This raises at least two questions: How can NGOs most effectively perform their own work, and how can NGOs integrate their programs into broader efforts organized by public institutions? This paper addresses these questions by evaluating the community-based model of Haiti Outreach (HO) that focuses on training communities to manage wells after they have been constructed. The effect of this management training is identified by ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1201

Working Paper
Differences of Opinions

This paper presents a generalization of the DeGroot learning rule in which social learning can lead to polarization, even for connected networks. I first develop a model of biased assimilation in which the utility an agent receives from past decisions depends on current beliefs when uncertainty is slow to resolve. I use this model to motivate key features of an agent?s optimization problem subject to scarce private information, which forces the agent to extrapolate using social information. Even when the agent extrapolates under ?scientific? assumptions and all individuals in the network ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1604

Working Paper
Evidence on the Production of Cognitive Achievement from Moving to Opportunity

This paper performs a subgroup analysis on the effect of receiving a Moving to Opportunity (MTO) housing voucher on test scores. I find evidence of heterogeneity by number of children in the household in Boston, gender in Chicago, and race/ethnicity in Los Angeles. To study the mechanisms driving voucher effect heterogeneity, I develop a generalized Rubin Causal Model and propose an estimator to identify transition-specific Local Average Treatment Effects (LATEs) of school and neighborhood quality. Although I cannot identify such LATEs with the MTO data, the analysis demonstrates that ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1707

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