Working papers

"Suddenly Married: Joint Taxation and the Labor Supply of Same-Sex Married Couples After U.S. v. Windsor" (PDF)

   A joint taxation system can exacerbate the deadweight loss of taxation due to labor supply responses, but evidence is scarce. I provide direct evidence of the efficiency costs and labor supply effects of joint taxation in the United States by leveraging tax variation created by federal same-sex marriage recognition following the 2013 United States v. Windsor Supreme Court ruling. I find moderate hours responses to taxation among predicted primary earners and larger labor force participation responses among predicted secondary earners. I also show that joint taxation is less efficient and generates less tax revenue compared to individual taxation. My findings suggest that there are efficiency gains to lowering tax rates for secondary earners, but whether greater efficiency is worth the lower associated tax equity across families remains an open question.
JEL: D10, H21, H24, J22

"Marriage, Divorce, and Tax and Transfer Policy" (PDF)

   I use variation from the 1990s in the Earned Income Tax Credit and welfare reform to estimate the effects on marrying and divorcing. I examine flows into and out of marriage, use test scores to predict who is most likely to be affected by the policy changes, and employ a flexible functional form to estimate heterogeneous effects. I find that low-earning single parents are more likely to marry due to the EITC expansion and lower welfare generosity, while mid-earning married parents are less likely to divorce and high-earning married parents are more likely to divorce due to the EITC expansion.
JEL: D10, H24, H53, J12

"Elite Schools and Opting-In: Effects of College Selectivity on Career and Family Outcomes" with Suqin Ge and Amalia Miller

   This paper revisits the question of how elite college attendance affects later-life outcomes using the College and Beyond data (on the 1976 college entering cohort, observed in 1996-1997) and matching methods developed in the influential Dale and Krueger (2002) paper to address non-random selection in college choice. This paper expands the scope along two dimensions. First, we do not limit the sample to full-time workers. This increases the female share of the total sample and provides greater power to separately estimate models for men and women. Second, we examine career, educational and family outcomes. For men, our findings echo the overall results of Dale and Krueger (2002): controlling for selection eliminates the significant positive relationship between college selectivity and earnings. We also find no significant effects on men’s educational or family outcomes. However, the selection controls leave in place a pattern of significant relationships for women that indicates elite college women opting more into career investments and labor force participation. Attending a school with a 100-point higher average SAT score reduced a woman’s likelihood of marriage by 4 percentage points while increasing her chances of advanced degree attainment by 5 percentage points and her earnings by 14 percent. The effect of college selectivity on own earnings is significantly larger for married women than for single women. Among married women, selective college attendance significantly increased spousal education, but not earnings.
JEL: I23, I26, J12, J16, J22

Works in progress

"Bargaining Power in Married Couples: Evidence from U.S. v. Windsor"