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Jel Classification:I38 

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Community Education Circles in the Lawrence Public Schools: evaluation design and baseline survey data

This paper describes a plan for evaluating the Community Education Circles (CECs) program that is being implemented in the Lawrence Public Schools as part of an effort to enhance family-school engagement and improve outcomes for both students and parents. The CECs program supports the larger Lawrence Working Families Initiative, which in 2013 was awarded a multiyear grant through the Boston Fed?s Working Cities Challenge. This paper accomplishes several objectives: (1) describe the goals and methods of the CECs program as well as the larger goals of the Lawrence Working Families Initiative; ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-1

Working Paper
Nonlinear Pricing in Village Economies

This paper examines the price of basic staples in rural Mexico. We document that nonlinear pricing in the form of quantity discounts is common, that quantity discounts are sizable for typical staples, and that the well-known conditional cash transfer program Progresa has significantly increased quantity discounts, although the program, as documented in previous studies, has not affected on average unit prices. To account for these patterns, we propose a model of price discrimination that nests those of Maskin and Riley (1984) and Jullien (2000), in which consumers differ in their tastes and, ...
Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers , Paper 23

Working Paper
Designing Unemployment Insurance for Developing Countries

The benefits of implementing Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts (UISAs) are studied in the presence of the multiple sources of information frictions often existing in developing countries. A benchmark incomplete markets economy is calibrated to Mexico in the early 2000s. The unconstrained optimal allocation would imply very large welfare gains relative to the benchmark economy (similar to an increase in consumption of 23% in every period). More importantly, in presence of multiple sources of information frictions, about half of those potential gains can be accrued through the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2018-6

Working Paper
Social Interventions, Health and Wellbeing: The Long-Term and Intergenerational Effects of a School Construction Program

We analyze the long-run and intergenerational effects of a large-scale school building project (INPRES) that took place in Indonesia between 1974 and 1979. Specifically, we link the geographic rollout of INPRES to longitudinal data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey covering two generations. We find that individuals exposed to the program have better health later in life along multiple measures. We also find that the children of those exposed also experience improved health and educational outcomes and that these effects are generally stronger for maternal exposure than paternal exposure. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-9

Working Paper
The Earned Income Tax Credit and Food Consumption Patterns

The Earned Income Tax Credit is unique among social programs in that benefits are not paid out evenly across the calendar year. We exploit this feature of the EITC to investigate how the credit influences the food expenditure patterns of eligible households. We find that eligible households spend relatively more on healthy items including fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, and dairy products during the months when most refunds are paid.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2013-14

Working Paper
Self-employment and health care reform: evidence from Massachusetts

We study the e ect of the Massachusetts health care reform on the uninsured rate and the self-employment rate in the state. The reform required all individuals to obtain health insurance, required most employers to o er health insurance to their employees, formed a private marketplace that o ered subsidized health insurance options and ex- panded public insurance. We examine data from the Current Population Survey (CPS)for 1994-2012 and its Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement for 1996-2013. We show that the reform led to a dramatic reduction in the state's uninsured rate due to ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 14-16

Journal Article
Structural and Cyclical Trends in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has increased sharply over the past 20 years. Average monthly participation grew from 17.3 million people in 2001 to a peak of 47.6 million people in 2013. Although participation declined somewhat as the economy recovered from the Great Recession, SNAP participation remains well above its pre-recession level. {{p}} Kelly D. Edmiston investigates the forces driving long-term patterns in SNAP participation as well as its cyclical variation. He finds that three structural factors?legislative and programmatic changes, poverty, ...
Economic Review , Issue Q I , Pages 59-81

Working Paper
Neighborhood Choices, Neighborhood Effects and Housing Vouchers

We study how households choose neighborhoods, how neighborhoods affect child ability, and how housing vouchers influence neighborhood choices and child outcomes. We use two new panel data sets with tract-level detail for Los Angeles county to estimate a dynamic model of optimal tract-level location choice for renting households and, separately, the impact of living in a given tract on child test scores (which we call ?child ability" throughout). We simulate optimal location choices and changes in child ability of the poorest households in our sample under various housing-voucher policies. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-2

Journal Article
How Does Informal Employment Affect the Design of Unemployment Insurance and Employment Protection?

The authors use a simple model to study the optimal design of unemployment insurance and employment protection. Workers are risk averse and face the possibility of unemployment. Firms are risk neutral and face random shocks to productivity. Workers can participate in a shadow economy, or informal sector. The model yields several lessons. First, countries should encourage formal employment to address the issue of informal employment. In extreme cases, such encouragement translates into high severance payments and negative payroll taxes. Along these same lines, unemployment payments cannot be ...
Review , Volume 97 , Issue 2

Working Paper
Rural Affordable Rental Housing : Quantifying Need, Reviewing Recent Federal Support, and Assessing the Use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits in Rural Areas

Recently, there has been significant interest in the high levels of rental cost burden being experienced across the United States. Much of this scholarship has focused on rental cost burdens in larger urban areas, or at the national level, and has not explored differences in the prevalence of rental cost burden in urban versus rural communities. In this paper, I find that rental cost burdens are a challenge facing both urban and rural communities. However, despite the need for affordable rental housing in rural communities identified, I find the amount of resources made available by the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-077

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