Research and Grants

Manuscripts Under Review

  1. Spanbauer, M., L. Johnson and P. Button. "How Valuable are National Parks? Evidence from a Proposed National Park Expansion in Alaska."
    • Submitted August 3, 2017, to International Review of Environmental and Resource Economics.
    • Abstract: We estimate the national average passive use value for Alaskan National Parks. Passive use refers to the value that individuals get from the existence of a public good without actually using it. We field a questionnaire asking respondents, using the contingent valuation method, how much they would pay for a 5% expansion of Denali National Park. We find that respondents are willing to pay $115 to $409 for this expansion, according our preferred specifications. Respondents’ answers to questions about what motivated their support and questions about their connections to Alaska indicate that support for the expansion is driven by passive use values.

Working Papers

  1. Spanbauer, M. "Self-Defense Policy, Justified Homicides, and Race''
    • Abstract: The self-defense policies known as Stand Your Ground reduce the expected cost of using lethal force. I use a novel database of police records to explore whether these policies had differential effects across race. I find that the implementation of Stand Your Ground policies lead to an average of 1.611 (p < .01) additional black Alleged Perpetrators of Crimes being killed each month, 1.410 (p < .01) of whom are killed by black citizens. I find 0.345 additional white Alleged Perpetrators are killed each month, 0.337 of whom are killed by white citizens. I test the differences between race groups and find that they are strongly significant in all cases (p < .01), and I conduct a number of falsification and robustness tests address natural concerns of endogenous policy creation. Results provide evidence that Stand Your Ground policies cause unequal outcomes across racial groups.
  2. Spanbauer, M. "Effect of Uranium Exposure on Birth Outcomes, Disability and Labor Force Participation Rates.''
    • Abstract: I use the Church Rock Uranium Mill spill as a natural experiment to examine the causal relationship between prenatal uranium exposure, birth outcomes, and labor market outcomes. Children born in specific counties are exposed to uranium via a contaminated water supply and are used as the treatment group in a difference in differences model. I conclude prenatal or early childhood exposure to water sources contaminated with uranium decreases birth weight by 3-4 percent, increases adult disability rates by 2 percentage points, and decreases labor force participation by 4 percentage points. This analysis provides insight to the external costs of activities that increase the probability of human exposure to uranium, such as the prevalent military use of depleted uranium munitions.

Manuscripts in Preparation

  1. Spanbauer, M. "External Costs of Nuclear Power Compared to Coal-Fired Generating Stations.''
  2. Spanbauer, M. "Hydraulic Fracturing and Public Health: An Empirical Analysis.''
  3. Spanbauer, M. "Public Law 112-141: Comments, critiques and lessons-learned from the RESTORE Act of 2012.''

Grants and Awards

Academic Merit Fellowship, Tulane University.

        • $16,547+Tuition - Awarded in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Academic Merit Fellowship, Tulane University.

        • $22,063+Tuition - Awarded in 2013.

Travel Grant, German Central Bank and Justus-Liebeg University.

        • €2,500 - Awarded in 2012.

Department of Economics Alumni Scholarship, UW--Milwaukee.

        • $500 - Awarded in 2012.

Austan Goolsbee Lecture Grant, UWM Senate Appropriation Committee.

        • $46,530 - Awarded in 2012.

Seminar & Presentation Grant, UWM Senate Appropriation Committee.

        • $30,370 - Awarded in 2011.