Agricultural Technological Change, Female Earnings, and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil 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 across municipalities in Brazil, I show that these technologies reduced female earnings and employment in agriculture, without reallocation of female labor into other sectors. Further, this technology adoption increased fertility, due to increases in overall household earnings and substitution effects driven by the reduction in female earnings and employment. These results suggest that, contrary to historical experience, technological progress in modern developing countries may not improve female labor market opportunities or contribute to fertility decline, unless substitution effects are negative and sufficiently large.
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.