Greetings! I am a labor economist and research associate at the Urban Institute's Center on Education Data and Policy. I hold a PhD in economics from the University of California Berkeley.

You can download my CV here

Primary Fields

Labor Economics

Applied Econometrics

Economics of Education

Email

TMonarrez@urban.org

Research

"The Effect of Charter Schools on School Segregation" (PDF) joint with Brian Kisida and Matthew Chingos.

Revise and resubmit, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy

Abstract: We conduct a comprehensive examination of the causal effect of charter schools on school segregation, using a triple differences design that utilizes between-grade differences in charter expansion within school systems, and an instrumental variable approach that leverages charter school opening event variation. Charter schools increase school segregation for Black, Hispanic, White, and Asian students. The effect is of modest magnitude; segregation would fall 6 percent were charter schools eliminated from the average district. Analysis across varied geographies reveals countervailing forces. In metropolitan areas, charters improve integration between districts, especially in areas with intense school district fragmentation.


"School Attendance Boundaries and the Segregation of Schools in the US," (Job Market Paper), (PDF), (VOX Coverage), (NYT coverage)

Revise and resubmit, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

Abstract: Public school assignment policy is determined by local education agencies, typically using school attendance boundaries. I provide evidence that local agencies exhibit demand for racial desegregation of school boundaries as a function of commuting costs, and that this demand is responsive to desegregation court orders and local attitudes toward racial diversity. To do so, I develop empirical techniques for the economic analysis of spatial school boundary data, linked to census block demographics. My findings suggest that school boundaries are a remarkably active area of local policy that has impacts on educational equity and is responsive to costs and local preferences.


"Closing the Immigrant-Native Higher Education Gap: The Effect of Tuition Equity Reform in Texas," Working Paper, (2016), (PDF).

Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of tuition equity reform on the educational outcomes of undocumented immigrant high school students. This type of reform, granting in-state tuition to qualifying undocumented students, can be interpreted as a partial relaxation of the institutional constraints associated with lack of legal immigration status. Exploiting administrative data from education agencies in Texas, I employ a generalized differences- in-differences framework to produce within-school, across-cohort estimates of the impact of the ’Texas Dream Act’ on a range of educational outcomes from college demand to college-bound investments during high school. Estimates show a significant closing of the college demand gap between immigrant and control group high school graduates. However, estimates regarding college-bound investments contain mixed results. I attribute this to a complex policy environment in public high schools during the analysis period. Results suggest that affordable college access policies can have a significant impact on the attainment of the immigrant population at the college entrance stage, but that, given other policies in place, college tuition incentives down the educational ladder may not be sufficiently salient to generate spillover effects.


"The Impact of For-Profit College Chain Entry on Postsecondary Education Markets," (PDF).

Abstract: For-profit college chains (FPCs) have rapidly expanded into postsecondary education mar- kets over the last two decades, opening almost 1,000 campuses across the U.S. We first examine the determinants of FPC entry, finding that counties with worsening local unem- ployment and poverty rates are more likely to see the opening of an FPC campus. We then exploit variation in the timing of FPC entry to estimate the impact of FPC entry on enrollment and degree/certificate completions. Event study estimates show that FPC entry leads to increases in county-wide college enrollment and degree completions, with ef- fects concentrated in short-term certificate programs. Additionally, we find little indication of negative enrollment effects at traditional public and non-profit private institutions, in- cluding community colleges. We interpret these findings as indication that for-profit chain colleges tend to enter markets facing excess demand for higher education, and that the extent to which they directly compete with traditional colleges is limited at best.