Working Papers

Unequal Assignments to Public Schools and the Limits of Schools Choice   [link]

This paper studies the limits of school choice policies in the presence of residential sorting. Using data from the Boston Public Schools choice system, I show that white prekindergarteners are assigned to higher-achieving schools than minority students, and that cross-race school achievement gaps under choice are no lower than would be generated by a neighborhood assignment rule. To understand why choice-based assignments do not reduce gaps in school achievement, I use data on applicants' rank-order choices to estimate preferences over schools and consider a series of counterfactual assignments. I find that half of the gap in school achievement between white and Black or Hispanic students is explained by minorities' longer travel distances to high-performing schools. Differences in demand parameters explain a smaller fraction of the gap, while algorithm rules have no effect.

Work in Progress

School District Wage Structure and Teacher Mobility: Assessing Teacher Preferences from Inter-School Mobility in Minnesota, with Elton Mykerezi, Aaron Sojourner, and Aradhya Sood 

Civilian Collaboration and Violence in Civil Wars, with Austin Wright