I am an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of Kentucky. My research agenda primarily relates to questions about how public policy affects economic mobility and financial security. A particular focus is on education policy, and current research projects include studies of policy effects in higher education, student debt, and consumer credit markets.
In addition, I am actively pursuing projects under two current grants:
- Understanding the links between high school resources and college outcomes, with a focus on engineering/STEM fields (funded by the National Science Foundation).
- Estimating the pathways and returns to education in prisons (funded by the Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education).
Please click on the links above to learn more. Link to CV.
“Where Do Students go When For-Profit Colleges Lose Federal Aid?” with Stephanie Cellini & Lesley Turner is forthcoming in American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.
Abstract: We examine the effects of federal sanctions imposed on for-profit institutions in the 1990s. Using county-level variation in the timing and magnitude of sanctions linked to student loan default rates, we estimate that sanctioned for-prots experience a 68% decrease in annual enrollment following sanction receipt. Enrollment losses due to for-prot sanctions are 60-70% offset by increased enrollment within local community colleges, where students are less likely to default on federal student loans. Conversely, for-profit sanctions decrease enrollment in local unsanctioned for-prot competitors, likely due to improved information about local options and reputational spillovers. Overall, market enrollment declines by 2%.