Works in Progress


How Early Morning Classes Change Academic Trajectories: Evidence from a Natural Experiment - Under Review

Presented: AEFP 2023, MEA 2022, SEA 2022, Economics Graduate Students’ Conference 2022 (Washington University in St. Louis), Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences’ Annual Meeting 2022, Brigham Young University, Lafayette College, Purdue University

Abstract: Using a natural experiment which randomized class times to students, this study reveals that enrolling in early morning classes lowers students' course grades and the likelihood of future STEM course enrollment. There is a 79% reduction in pursuing the corresponding major and a 26% rise in choosing a lower-earning major, predominantly influenced by early morning STEM classes. To understand the mechanism, I conducted a survey of undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory course, some of whom were assigned to a 7:30 AM section. I find evidence of a decrease in human capital accumulation and learning quality for early morning sections. 

College Course Shutouts (with Kevin J. Mumford and Richard W. Patterson)

Presented: NBER Education Meeting Spring 2023, APPAM Fall 2023 Conference, Utah Applied Economics Conference 2023, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Purdue University, Utah State University

Abstract: What happens when college students are not able to enroll in the courses they want? We use a natural experiment at Purdue University in which first-year students are conditionally randomly assigned to oversubscribed courses. Compared to first-semester students who are assigned a requested course, those who are shut out are 40% less likely to ever take the oversubscribed course and approximately 30% less likely to ever take a course in the same subject. While a course shutout is equally likely to occur to female and male students who requested the course, shutouts are much more disruptive for female students. In the short run, shutouts decrease the credits female students earn as well as their GPA. In the long-run, shutouts increase the probability female students drop out of school in the first year, decrease the probability they choose majors in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), decrease cumulative GPA, and decrease the probability of graduating within four years. In contrast, shutouts have no effects on short-run credits earned, dropout, majoring in STEM, cumulative GPA, or four-year graduation for male students. Shutouts do have one large measurable long-run impact on male students---shutouts significantly increase the probability that men choose a major from the business school.  

Instructor Value-Added in Postsecondary Education (with Jacob Light and Merrill Warnick)

Grade Inflation and Students' Outcomes (with Lars J. Lefgren, Kevin J. Mumford, and Rich W. Patterson)

Teacher's Gender and Race on Students' Educational Outcomes (with Kevin J. Mumford)