Published / Accepted
Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2023 (link)
The Journal of Business and Economic Statistics (link)
Science Advances, Jan 2021 (link)
Health Knowledge and Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa (with Anne E. Fitzpatrick, Sabrin A. Beg, Laura C. Derksen, Anne Karing, Jason T. Kerwin, Adrienne Lucas, Natalia Ordaz Reynoso)
Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2021 (link)
Health effects of cousin marriage: Evidence from US genealogical records (with Sam Il Myoung Hwang, and Deaglan Jakob)
Cousin marriage rates are high in many countries today. We provide the first estimate of the effect of such marriages on the life expectancy of offspring. By studying couples married over a century ago, we observe their offspring across the lifespan. Using US genealogical data to identify children whose parents were first cousins, we compare their years of life to the offspring of their parents’ siblings. We find that marrying a cousin leads to more than a three-year reduction in offspring life expectancy. This effect is strikingly stable across time, despite large changes in life expectancy and economic environment.
Conditionally Accepted, The Economic Journal
This paper documents strong pressure on productive entrepreneurs in a developing country setting to share their income. This ‘kinship tax’ can distort productive decisions, including investment. I conduct a lab experiment with a sample of 1805 Kenyans to quantify the importance of this tax. In my sample, one in three men men and one in ﬁve women face distortionary pressure to share income. Strikingly, this share is strongly increasing in ability, suggesting potentially large aggregate production consequences. Male entrepreneurs who receive cash grants expand their business only if they do not face distortionary kinship taxation as measured in the lab.
R&R, Explorations in Economic History
The quality of historical US census data is critical to the performance of linking algorithms. We use genealogical profiles to correct errors in census names and ages. Our findings suggest a quarter to a half of names and ages are reported with error. While errors in age decline across subsequent census rounds from 1850 to 1930, errors in names do not. Error rates are decreasing in human capital. Correcting ages and names leads to 20-40% more links and fewer false positives. Reassuringly, we find that reducing such errors has no effect on estimates of intergenerational mobility.
Work in progress