Brown Bag Seminar Series/Alumni Corner

Winter 2022

Tuesday March 15, 2022 at noon 

John Voorheis, Ph.D.*

U.S. Census Bureau

"Air Pollution and Economic Opportunity in the United States" (joint with Jonathan Colmer and Brennan Williams)

Abstract: Neighborhoods are an important determinant of economic opportunity in the United States. Less clear is how neighborhoods affect economic opportunity. Here we provide early evidence on the importance of environmental quality in shaping economic opportunity. Combining 36 years of satellite derived PM2.5 concentrations measured over roughly 8.6 million grid cells with individual-level administrative data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), we first document a new fact: early-life exposure to particulate matter is one of the top five predictors of upward mobility in the United States. Next, using regulation-induced reductions in prenatal pollution exposure following the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, we estimate significant increases in adult earnings and upward mobility. Combined with new individual-level measures of pollution disparities at birth, our estimates can account for up to 20 percent of Black-White earnings gaps, and 25 percent of the Black-White gap in upward mobility estimated in Chetty et al (2018). Combining our estimates with experiment-induced reductions in pollution exposure from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment, we can account for 15 percent of the total neighborhood earnings effect estimated in Chetty, Hendren and Katz (2016). Collectively, these findings suggest that environmental injustice may play a meaningful role in explaining observed patterns of racial economic disparities, income inequality and economic opportunity in the United States.

*Alumni Corner event

Registration is in the following link: Zoom


Tuesday April 5, 2022 at noon 

Erkmen Giray Aslim, Ph.D.

Grand Valley State University

"State Vaccination Policies, Delayed Care, and Health Expenditures" (joint with Wei Fu, Chia-Lun Liu)

Abstract: TBA


Registration is in the following link: Zoom


Fall 2021 

Tuesday October 5, 2021 at noon 

Thomas Stockwell, Ph.D.*

Assistant Professor, University of Tampa

"Accommodative Monetary Policy Shocks Do Not Increase Output"

Abstract: This paper investigates whether the response of U.S. output to a monetary policy shock is symmetric over three dimensions: the direction of the shock, the size of the shock, and what phase the business cycle is in when the shock takes place. Theory suggests that looking at individual asymmetries may not tell the whole story and that interactions among the asymmetries may be important. My results show that business cycle and directional asymmetry are important while the size of the shock is less so. In addition, the directional asymmetry results suggest a striking conclusion: stimulative monetary policy shocks taken during recessions have little effect on output. Models that do not incorporate directional asymmetry are likely to miss this result. This calls into question the ability of traditional monetary policy to combat recessions.

*Alumni Corner event

Registration is in the following link: Zoom

Tuesday November 2, 2021 at Noon

Timothy R. Hodge, Ph.D.*

Associate Professor, Oakland University

"When a "Social Contract" is in Crisis: Lessons from Detroit's Property Tax"

Detroit’s recent financial woes were no secret. Michigan’s governor appointed an emergency financial manager for Detroit in 2013 and the City filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation’s history shortly thereafter. Although a combination of factors were responsible for Detroit’s economic decline, issues surrounding the property tax played a prominent role. In this talk I discuss the major issues surrounding Detroit’s property tax that contributed to a breakdown in the “social contract” between the City and its residents, the efforts made by the City to realign this contract, and the response of residents. These are important lessons for Detroit to remember as the City continues to struggle with property tax collection and public service provision.

* CAS Detroit Theme Year event

Registration is in the following link: Zoom

Tuesday December 7, 2021 at Noon 

Dr. Sandra Orozco-Aleman

Associate Professor,  Mississippi State University

“Illegal Immigration: The Trump Effect.”

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of increasingly provocative anti-immigrant politicians in both Europe and the United States. We examine whether the 2016 election of Donald Trump, who made illegal immigration and border enforcement a centerpiece of his campaign, reduced illegal immigration into the U.S. We exploit the fact the election result was widely unexpected and thus generated a large, overnight change in expected immigration policy and rhetoric. We compare migration flows before and after the election and find that while it reduced immigration among deported Mexicans and at least temporarily among Central Americans, it had no effect on the overall inflow of unauthorized Mexican workers.

Registration is in the following link: Zoom