Ph.D. Economics, 2019 (expected)
Fields: Applied Microeconomics, Labor, Public, Education

Job Market Paper: "Classmates Like Me: Race and Ethnicity In College" (pdf)

Using administrative data from a large and diverse California community college, I examine whether minority students are affected by the race and ethnicity of classmates. To identify social interactions, I leverage classroom level enrollment variations in racial and ethnic compositions on more than 186,000 course enrollments by 83,000 first-time students with limited class choices. The setting and richness of the data provide a robust examination of interactions with the inclusion of individual and class fixed effects. I find that Hispanic and African-American students are more likely to persist in and pass classes when there are more classmates of their own race and ethnicity. This is especially true for Hispanic students in courses that are transferable to the University of California and California State University systems.

Working Paper:  “A New Generation of Female Scientists? Gender Interactions in Chemistry Labs” with Robert Fairlie, Glenn Millhauser, and Randa Roland (available upon request)

Universities around the world struggle to attract more women into STEM fields. A major concern is that female students face gender bias, discrimination and related barriers in male-dominated STEM fields. To investigate this concern, we conducted the first-ever large-scale experiment of interactions between female and male students in an important gateway course for the Sciences. Over the past four years at a large public research university, we randomly paired every student enrolled in an introductory Chemistry lab (3,902 students and total N=5,537). Although students work very closely the entire term in the labs, we find no evidence that female students react negatively to male students. When assigned a male partner, female students do not receive lower scores or grades, and they are no more likely to drop the course, or lose interest in continuing in a STEM field. We also find no evidence that academically weaker female students are negatively affected by male students and no evidence that female students are negatively affected when paired with academically stronger male students.

“A Teaching Assistant like Me: The Influence of TAs in Chemistry Labs”

Can Teaching Assistants (TAs) in introductory Chemistry labs reduce the disparity of female and minority representations in science? Using administrative data, detailed gradebooks, and observations from lab sections at a large research university, I examine the extent to which TA gender, race, and ethnicity contribute to the academic performance and persistence of students. The timing of TA assignments, impacted sections, and a no section switching policy foster a quasi-experimental setting.