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RESEARCH PAPERS

Agricultural Technological Change, Female Earnings, and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil (New Draft Coming Soon) Draft

I study how bias in agricultural technological change affects labor market opportunities and fertility in a modern developing country context. Exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in the adoption of genetically engineered soy in Brazil, I show that these technologies affect male and female workers differently. While the adoption of these technologies increased overall household earnings, they led to reductions in female earnings and employment in agriculture without reallocation into other sectors. I further exploit these gendered impacts on the labor market to show, consistent with economic models of fertility, that technological change that eliminates female jobs also increases fertility. These outcomes suggest that, contrary to historical experiences of technological change, technological progress in current developing countries may not improve female labor market opportunities or contribute to fertility decline.

Blue Collar Booms and American Mortality: Evidence from US Counties (with Paul Shaloka). Draft (New Draft Coming Soon)

We exploit the positive labor demand shocks driven by the fracking boom to investigate whether a long-run increase in economic opportunities reduces deaths of despair. Within a difference-in-differences analysis using variation in geological characteristics amenable to fracking, we demonstrate that fracking produces a sizeable increase in earnings and employment, especially for prime-aged males, while deaths of despair decline for young men, driven by suicides. Our estimates imply that fracking led to a 13% decline in male suicides in boom counties. These findings are not driven by differential trends in mortality unrelated to the fracking boom or confounding factors like migration.

Every Day is Earth Day: Evidence on the Long-term Impact of Environmental Activism (with Daniel Hungerman). Link
Forthcoming: AEJ: Applied Economics

We explore the importance of activism in the context of Earth Day. We use variation in weather to study the long-term effects of the original Earth Day on attitudes, environmental outcomes, and children's health.  Unusually bad weather in a community on April 22, 1970, is associated 10 to 20 years later with weaker support for the environment, particularly among those who were school-aged in 1970. Bad weather on Earth Day is also associated with higher levels of carbon monoxide in the air and greater risk of congenital abnormalities in infants born in the following decades.  These results indicate a long-lasting and localized effect of Earth Day, and show that there can be benefits to voluntary activity that would be impossible to identify until years after the volunteering occurs.

WORKS IN PROGRESS

Gender-Biased Technological Change and Women’s Bargaining Power: Evidence from Brazil (Draft Coming Soon)

Industrialization, Religion, and Fertility Decline in 1800s France (Draft Coming Soon, Presented at the 19th World Economic History Conference in Paris)

 
Religion and Demography: Papal Influences on Fertility (With Lakshmi Iyer and Paloma Moyano)

Improving the Working Conditions of Domestic Workers in Brazil (Field Work in Progress
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Technological Change and Deforestation: Testing the Borlaug Hypothesis

Can Human Capital Investments Lower Coercive Institutions? Evidence from US History