Working Papers

Abstract: I estimate the impact of air pollution events caused by wildfire smoke on respiratory and circulatory health outcomes. Utilizing a combination of California health data and NOAA wildfire smoke data I can estimate the impact of exposure to wildfire smoke on health outcomes for all individuals in California. Using inpatient data I am able to construct a measure of exposure to wildfire smoke prior to the hospital visit, this allows for the identification of the impact of wildfire smoke exposure on different health outcomes. I find that an additional day of smoke exposure in a month leads to on average 11.38 additional hospital admissions for respiratory diagnoses and an additional 3 hospital admissions for circulatory diagnoses. This translates to an annual cost of wildfire smoke exposure in California due to respiratory and circulatory hospital admissions of $192,316,498.

Abstract: How does the sharing economy affect traditional lodging markets? The advent of platforms such as Airbnb in 2008 has introduced a new channel of market interaction between those with space and those who seek it. This allows for transactions of lodging services that might otherwise be underutilized. This paper develops a framework to help think about how peer-to-peer transactions interact with traditional rental mar- kets, and what this means for property managers and tenants. Specifically, we examine how the introduction of sharing platforms (e.g. Airbnb) affect the listing decisions of managers of vacant properties and the lodging choices of dwelling seekers. The model features landlords who choose where to list vacant properties and renters who search for lodging. Renters can be either short or long-term, referencing how long they wish to occupy the property. Sharing platforms give landlords the option of accessing these short-term renters who would otherwise occupy hotels, affecting traditional, long-term renters. We find that Airbnbs decrease hotel prices by about $24 per night (about a 10% reduction) while they increase average rents by $39 per room, per month (about a 2.5% increase).

Effective Number of Clusters and Inference with Instrumental Variables (with Douglas G. Steigerwald)

Abstract: We study the behavior of cluster-robust test statistics in models with instrumental variables when cluster heterogeneity is present. Inference in a large number of papers using two-stage least squares regressions published in American Economics Association journals are driven by the presence of one or two influential clusters. We link a measure of cluster heterogeneity, the feasible effective number of clusters, to measures of influence. Using simulations, we demonstrate that high levels of cluster heterogeneity lead to coverage of less than 95% for 95% confidence intervals when using instrumental variables with panel data or with data that can be grouped into clusters. Using data from papers with two-stage least squares regressions published in American Economic Association journals, we show that the feasible effective number of clusters can be used as a pre-test to the sensitivity of two-stage least squares inference to influential clusters.

Works in Progress

Weather and Malaria Incidence in Sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract: I study the impact of changing weather patterns on the incidence of malaria and the effectiveness of malaria initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa between the years 2000 and 2015. Combining malaria incidence with climate reanalysis I estimate the impact of malarious weather on malaria prevalence and analyze the changing efficacy of malaria prevention and treatment.