Policy Impacts Early Career Scholars Grant Announcement

We are pleased to announce this year's recipients of our Early Career Scholars Grant.

Mohit Agrawal (Yale University) and Jintaek Song (Johns Hopkins University)

Agrawal and Song employ two empirical designs to answer the research question: “how does SNAP impact the health outcomes of infants and birthing parents?” (1) Using household SNAP data linked to Medicaid claims, they use exogenous variation in SNAP recipiency due to 6-month recertification cycles to estimate the impact of SNAP participation on pregnancy-related health. (2) Using SNAP data linked to birth records, they exploit variation in the SNAP Emergency Allotment (EA) during the Covid-19 pandemic to estimate the causal effect of additional SNAP benefits on birth outcomes using a difference-in-differences design. They will calculate an MVPF for the intensive and extensive margin impacts of SNAP recipiency during pregnancy, and incorporate their estimates to update the population-wide MVPF of SNAP from Hendren and Sprung- Keyser (2020).

Misreporting or Misallocation: Firms’ Behavioral Response to a Size-based Enforcement Policy in Taiwan

Elisa Cheng (Cornell University), Hsing-Wen Han (Tamkang University), and Tzu-Ting Yang (Institute of Economics)

Cheng, Han and Yang use a combination of administrative tax return data and census survey data to examine firms’ responses to, and the welfare implications of, a sizedependent audit policy in Taiwan. They find that firms strategically bunch below the enforcement threshold to avoid higher audit probability, but by employing distinct sectorspecific strategies. Based on their empirical findings, they will construct a model of firms with production and reporting behavior, and use this to estimate the MVPF of size-base enforcement policy.

The Effect of Public Transportation Fare Subsidies on Mobility and Socioeconomic Outcomes

Seth Chizeck (Carnegie Mellon University) and Oluchi Mbonu (Harvard University)

Chizeck and Mbonu employ a randomized experimental design to estimate the causal effect of a public transportation fare subsidy on mobility and welfare. Using a combination of administrative and survey data for two treatment groups (half-fare and free-fare) and one control group, they estimate the effects of a fare subsidy in Allegheny County, PA on several welfare-related outcomes for low-income participants. Using their results, they will calculate the MVPF of free and reduced-price public transportation fares.

The Long Run Effects of Reducing Unconditional Cash Transfers

Assaf Kott (Ben-Gurion University)

Kott studies the effect of a decline in unconditional child transfers on academic and early adulthood outcomes, leveraging a 2003 Israeli reform that scaled back child allowances with a date-of-birth cutoff rule. Work to date has enabled the calculation of a preliminary MVPF of 4.11 based on the attainment of a high school diploma. With support from Policy Impacts, Kott will calculate a comprehensive MVPF of unconditional child allowances using data on adulthood earnings, post-secondary education, records of criminal offenses, unemployment and disability benefits, fertility, marital status, and mortality.

Does It Matter Who Cares? Formal vs. Informal Care of the Elderly

Patrizia Massner (Stockholm University) and Jens Wikström (University of Gothenburg)

Massner and Wikström provide causal estimates of how changes in fees for formal elderly care (e.g. nursing homes, home care) affect the utilization of this care, seniors’ health outcomes, and their children’s labor market outcomes. Combining municipality-level data on elderly care utilization and fees with individual-level third party data, they exploit a unique reform that decreased the price of formal care in two-thirds of Sweden’s municipalities to construct a difference-in-difference design. They will use their empirical results to estimate the MVPF of additional subsidies for formal elderly care.

R&D Subsidy and Import Substitution: Growing in the Shadow of Protection

Gustavo de Souza (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago) and Florian Trouvain (Princeton University)

De Souza and Trouvain study the effect of a large-scale R&D subsidy program in Brazil on firm growth using a matched difference-in-differences design comparing close winners and close losers of the same subsidy application. Preliminary results indicate that the innovation subsidy drives firm growth by facilitating firm entry into high-tariff markets with domestically produced versions of foreign goods. Using firm-level administrative data and balance sheet data on profits and revenue from the Annual Survey of Manufacturing in Brazil, they will estimate the MVPF of this government R&D subsidy.

Application details for the Early Career Scholars Grant can be found here.