Papers & Publications

For published papers I may provide the last pre-publication draft. See journal for final version.




Labor Market Returns to Community College Awards: Evidence From Michigan (with Peter Riley Bahr, Brian Jacob, Daniel Kreisman, Alfredo Sosa and Mark Wiederspan). 2015. CAPSEE Working Paper..

Stand and Deliver: Effects of Boston's Charter Schools on College Preparation, Entry and Choice (with Josh Angrist, Sarah Cohodes, Parag Pathak and Christopher Walters). 2015. Forthcoming.Journal of Labor Economics.

The Missing Manual: Using National Student Clearinghouse Data to Track Postsecondary Outcomes (with Steve Hemelt and Joshua Hyman). 2015. Forthcoming. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

An Economist's Perspective on Student Loans in the United States. 2014. Brookings Institution Working Paper.

Building Better Longitudinal Surveys (on the cheap) Through Links to Administrative Data. 2014. Prepared for National Academy of Education.

Simplifying Tax Incentives and Aid for College: Progress and Prospects (with Judith Scott-Clayton and Mark Wiederspan). 2013. Tax Policy and the Economy.

Loans for Educational Opportunity: Making Borrowing Work for Today's Students (with Daniel Kreisman).October 2013. Hamilton Project Discussion Paper Policy Brief

Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion (with Joshua Hyman and Diane Schanzenbach). 2013. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 32:4, pp. 692-717 (lead article). Ray Vernon Memorial Prize for best paper in JPAM.

Charter Schools and the Road to College Readiness (with Josh Angrist, Sarah Cohodes, Parag Pathak and Christopher Walters). The Boston Foundation.  May 2013.

Financial Aid Policy: Lessons from Research (with Judith Scott-Clayton). Future of Children (May 2013).

Student Aid Simplification: Looking Back and Looking Ahead (with Mark Wiederspan). March 2012 National Tax Journal 65:1, pp. 211-234. Published version (may be gated).

Who Benefits from KIPP? (with Joshua Angrist, Thomas Kane, Parag Pathak and Christopher Walters). 2013. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Published version (may be gated).

Older version, NBER working paper.

Gains and Gaps: Changing Inequality in US College Entry and Completion (with Martha Bailey). August 2011.

Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters and Pilots (with Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Joshua Angrist, Thomas Kane and Parag Pathak). May 2011, Quarterly Journal of Economics. Online Appendix

Older Version: NBER Working Paper 15549

Student Achievement in Massachusetts' Charter Schools (with Josh Angrist, Sarah Cohodes, Jon Fullerton, Thomas Kane, Parag Pathak and Christopher Walters). Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University.  January 2011.

Inputs and Impacts in Charter Schools: KIPP Lynn (with Joshua Angrist, Thomas Kane, Parag Pathak and Christopher Walters). American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings. 2010.

Cheaper By the Dozen: Using Sibling Discounts at Catholic Schools to Estimate the Price Elasticity of Private School Attendance (with Jonathan Gruber and Danielle Li). NBER Working Paper 15461. October 2009.

Into College, Out of Poverty? Policies to Increase the Postsecondary Attainment of the Poor (with David Deming). NBER Working Paper 15387. September 2009

This working paper is published in Phil Levine and David Zimmerman, eds. Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited.

Informing the Debate: Comparing Boston's Charter, Pilot and Traditional Schools  (with Atila Abdulkadiroglu, Josh Angrist, Sarah Cohodes, Jon Fullerton, Thomas Kane, and Parag Pathak). Boston Foundation Research Report.  January 2009.

Raising College EnrollmentMilken Institute Review 10:3, pp. 37‐45. 2008

The Lengthening of Childhood (with David Deming).  Journal of Economic Perspectives 22:3, pp.71-92. 2008.

Slate    Atlantic Monthly    WSJ Online                  

Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor. Journal of Human Resources 43:3, pp 576-610. 2008.  

Chronicle of Higher Education

Complexity and Targeting in Federal Student Aid: A Quantitative Analysis (with Judith Scott-Clayton). Tax Policy and the Economy 22, pp. 109-150. 2008.

Focus Tax Incentives on Those Who Need Them. Chronicle of Higher Education. August 17, 2007.

The Economics of Student Aid. NBER Research Reporter. 2007.

College Grants on a Postcard: A Proposal for Simple and Predictable Student Aid (with Judith Scott-Clayton). Hamilton Project discussion paper. 2007.

New York Times    National Review    Chronicle of Higher Education  

Harvard Crimson    Educational Policy Institute

This proposal has been adopted by the Clinton, Obama and Richardson presidential campaigns.

The Feasibility of Streamlining Aid for College Using the Tax System (with Judith Scott-Clayton. National Tax Association Papers and Proceedings. 2007.

Simplify and Focus the Education Tax Incentives (with Judith Scott-Clayton). Tax Notes.2006.

The Cost of Complexity in Student Financial Aid:  Lessons from Optimal Tax Theory and Behavioral Economics (with Judith Scott-Clayton). National Tax Journal. 2006.

Chronicle of Higher Education    Forbes

Tax Policy and Education Policy: Collision or Coordination? A Case Study of the 529 and Coverdell Saving Incentives. Tax Policy and the Economy 18. 2004.

Who Benefits from the Education Saving Incentives? Income, Educational Expectations and the Value of the 529 and Coverdell. National Tax Journal. 2004.

Los Angeles Times    Newsweek

Harvard Gazette      Washington Post    Chronicle of Higher Education    

The New Merit Aid. in Caroline Hoxby, ed., College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How To Pay for It. 2004.  Data and Stata do-file

Washington Post  

Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effects of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion American Economic Review.   March 2003.

The Behavioral and Distributional Implications of Aid for College. American Economic Review.  May 2002

Loans, Liquidity and Schooling Decisions. Working paper. 2002

Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance. National Tax Journal. 2000. Data and Stata do-file

Can Families Smooth Variable Earnings? (with Jonathan Gruber) Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. 1997.