Harris School of Public Policy
University of Chicago
1155 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Institutional Affiliation: University of Chicago
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|February 2019||Effects of Maternal Work Incentives on Adolescent Social Behaviors|
with , , , : w25527
This study exploits variations in the timing of welfare reform implementation in the U.S. in the 1990s to identify plausibly causal effects of welfare reform on a range of social behaviors of the next generation as they transition to adulthood. We focus on behaviors that are important for socioeconomic and health trajectories, estimate effects by gender, and explore potentially mediating factors. Welfare reform had no favorable effects on any of the youth behaviors examined and led to decreased volunteering among girls, increases in skipping school, damaging property, and fighting among boys, and increases in smoking and drug use among both boys and girls, with larger effects for boys (e.g., ~6% for boys compared to 4% for girls for any substance use). Maternal employment, supervision, an...
|January 2017||Effects of Maternal Work Incentives on Youth Crime|
with , , : w23054
This study exploits differences in the implementation of welfare reform across states and over time to identify causal effects of maternal work incentives, and by inference employment, on youth arrests between 1990 and 2005, the period during which welfare reform unfolded. We consider both serious and minor crimes as classified by the FBI, investigate the extent to which effects were stronger in states with more stringent work incentive policies and larger welfare caseload declines, and use a number of different model specifications to assess robustness and patterns. We find that welfare reform led to reduced youth arrests for minor crimes, by 7-9 %, with similar estimates for males and females, but that it did not affect youth arrests for serious crimes. The results from this study add to...
Published: Hope Corman & Dhaval Dave & Ariel Kalil & Nancy E. Reichman, 2017. "Effects of Maternal Work Incentives on Youth Crime," Labour Economics, . citation courtesy of
|December 2016||The Effects of Computers on Children’s Social Development and School Participation: Evidence from a Randomized Control Experiment|
with : w22907
Concerns over the perceived negative impacts of computers on social development among children are prevalent but largely uninformed by plausibly causal evidence. We provide the first test of this hypothesis using a large-scale randomized control experiment in which more than one thousand children attending grades 6-10 across 15 different schools and 5 school districts in California were randomly given computers to use at home. Children in the treatment group are more likely to report having a social networking site, but also report spending more time communicating with their friends and interacting with their friends in person. There is no evidence that computer ownership displaces participation in after-school activities such as sports teams or clubs or reduces school participation and en...
Published: Fairlie, Robert W. & Kalil, Ariel, 2017. "The effects of computers on children's social development and school participation: Evidence from a randomized control experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 10-19. citation courtesy of
|October 2015||Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Parental Engagement: The Parents and Children Together (PACT) Intervention|
with , , : w21602
Parent engagement with their children plays an important role in children’s eventual economic success and numerous studies have documented large gaps in parent engagement between low- and higher-income families. While we know remarkably little about what motivates parents to engage in their children’s development, recent research suggests that ignoring or discounting the future may inhibit parental investment, while certain behavioral tools may help offset this tendency. This paper reports results from a randomized field experiment designed to increase the time that parents of children in subsidized preschool programs spend reading to their children using an electronic reading application that audio and video records parents as they read. The treatment included three behavioral tools (text...
Published: Susan E. Mayer & Ariel Kalil & Philip Oreopoulos & Sebastian Gallegos, 2019. "Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Parental Engagement," Journal of Human Resources, vol 54(4), pages 900-925.