Working Papers

Employment Effects of Unemployment Insurance Generosity During the Pandemic (with Dana Scott)
[Abstract] In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the United States enacted the CARES Act, which expanded unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by providing a $600 weekly payment in addition to state un- employment benefits. We test whether changes in UI benefit generosity are associated with decreased employment, both at the onset of the benefits expansion and as businesses began to reopen. We use data from Homebase, a private firm that provides scheduling and time clock software to small businesses, which allows us to exploit high-frequency observations to understand how firms and workers respond to policy changes in real time. While our results show that relative declines in employment and hours occurred in mid-March, we find that the workers with higher post-CARES replacement rates did not experience larger declines in employment or hours of work when the benefits expansion went into effect. They have also returned to their previous jobs over time at similar rates as others.

Are Public Schools Ready to Integrate Math Classes with Khan Academy? (with Bruno Ferman and Lycia Lima)
[Abstract] We study the impacts of the program Khan Academy in Schools using a randomized control trial in Brazilian primary public schools. Once a week, teachers would take their students to the school’s computer lab and teach using the computer-assisted learning platform, instead of their standard math classes. We find positive effects of the program on measures of attitudes towards math, which were not translated to a positive average treatment effect on students’ math proficiency. We explore treatment heterogeneity by quality of implementation. This provides suggestive evidence that the program may have positive effects when there are no infrastructure problems and when the implementation modality is based on one computer per student. These results highlight the implementation challenges associated with educational tech- interventions in developing countries and help explain the mixed results found in the literature.

Work in Progress

Quality of Education and Human capital decisions: experimental evidence from Brazil (with Bruno Ferman, Andre Portela de Souza and Geraldo Silva Filho)