I am an Assistant Professor of Economics and Data Science at the Aalto School of Business- Helsinki GSE. My research areas are Labor Economics, Applied Microeconomics and the Economics of Education. I am particularly interested in how labor market institutions and educational policies affect upward mobility. 


The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from the Golden Age of Upward Mobility (with David Card and Lowell Taylor), Journal of Labor Economics, 40: S1, S39-S95. 

Summaries: Vox, 

NBER Digest 

We use 1940 Census data to study the intergenerational transmission of human capital for children born in the 1920s and educated during an era of expanding but unequally distributed public school resources. Looking at the gains in educational attainment between parents and children, we document lower average mobility rates for blacks than whites, but wide variation across states and counties for both races. We show that schooling choices of white children were highly responsive to the quality of local schools, with bigger effects for the children of less-educated parents. We then narrow our focus to black families in the South, where state-wide minimum teacher salary laws created sharp differences in teacher wages between adjacent counties. These differences had large impacts on schooling attainment, suggesting an important causal role for school quality in mediating upward mobility.

This paper aims to reconcile diverging results in the literature on the effects of compulsory schooling reforms on earnings. I point out, through a simple model of human capital accumulation, the importance of identifying parental education information to better target the set of potential compliers. Using detailed parental background data, the empirical analysis uncovers the large and positive effects of a French school leaving age reform previously shown to have produced zero and statistically insignificant effects on the earnings of impacted cohorts. The analysis suggests that identifying parental education is likely a crucial effort in analyzing contemporary compulsory schooling policies.


The Rise of For-Profit Higher Education: A General Equilibrium Analysis (with Ioana Schiopu) , CESifo Working Paper No. 9134 (revisions requested, The RAND Journal of Economics)

In recent decades, for-profit colleges have risen to prominence in U.S. higher education policy. We develop a general equilibrium model of the four-year college market, focusing on the competition between the fast-rising for-profit college sector and the public and not-for-profit sectors. The model captures competing profit maximization and academic quality objectives, the markets for traditional and nontraditional students, and variation in institutional financial aid policies and student loan balances. In calibration, the model predicts substantially different levels of tuition, instructional spending and average student body abilities, which match data counterparts well. We conduct counterfactual analyses relevant to recent U.S. policy debates, including subsidy cuts at public colleges, increases in federal financial aid, and ``gainful employment" legislation that links access to federal funding for universities to their graduates' debt-to-earnings ratios. 

The Impact of Female Teachers on Female Students' Lifetime Well-Being (with David Card, Seth G. Sanders, Lowell Taylor and Victoria Udalova), NBER Working Paper No. 30430

It is widely believed that female students benefit from being taught by female teachers, particularly when those teachers serve as counter-stereotypical role models. We study education in rural areas of the US circa 1940--a setting in which there were few professional female exemplars other than teachers--and find that female students were more successful when their primary-school teachers were disproportionately female. Impacts are lifelong: female students taught by female teachers were more likely to move up the educational ladder by completing high school and attending college, and had higher lifetime family income and increased longevity.

The G.I. Bill and Underemployment , IZA Discussion Paper 16444

While the ill luck of graduating during a recession is understood to potentially result in job mismatch, less is known about the drivers of underemployment outside of business cycles. This paper shows that the college subsidy investments undertaken as part of the WWII, Vietnam War, and Post-9/11 G.I. Bills led to persistent and sizable increases in the underemployment rate among bachelor’s degree holders. In turn, underemployment explains approximately a quarter of the earnings penalty experienced by recent college educated veterans, over and above lost labor market experience, lower rates of graduate school completion and combat exposure effects.


"Educational Attainment, Field of Study and Labor Market Outcomes" (with Arnaud Maurel, Andrew Shephard and Pengpeng Xiao)

"Planning for Family Succession" (with Robert A. Miller)

"Tuition Subsidies and Overeducation"  

"School Equalization in the Shadow of Jim Crow" (with David Card, Leah Clark and Lowell Taylor)

"The Impact of Education on Old Age Mortality" (with Anna Malinovskaya and Evan Taylor) 

"Minimum Wage Laws and Technology Adoption" (with Hakki  Ozdenoren)

"The secular decline in teen employment: the role of compulsory schooling laws and work permits" 


The largest drop in income inequality in the European Union during the Great Recession: Romania‘s puzzling case”, Conditions of Work and Employment Series, No.51 , International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2014.

Decent Work policy options for the Romanian economy,” Policy Integration Department Working Papers, No.105, International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2012.