What was your interest in joining UNC Charlotte and the Belk College of Business?
I am excited to join a fast-growing university with a strong commitment to becoming a leading U.S. research institution. Much of my research is in the field of health economics, so I am also excited to be so close to the Carolinas Medical Center and to be at a University that also houses a College of Health and Human Services.
Describe your major areas of expertise.
My research focuses on understanding how parents' decisions and circumstances affect their children and using this knowledge in order to make policy recommendations to improve intergenerational mobility.
What are some of the opportunities you envision to utilize your expertise at UNC Charlotte and the Charlotte community (and beyond)?
As I mentioned above, I'm hoping to make connections with individuals at the Carolinas Medical Center as well as those within the College of Health and Human Services. These resources are a large part of the reason I was so excited to join UNC Charlotte.
What kind of classes will you teach?
I will teach Health Economics to undergraduate students as well as graduate-level Econometrics.
What has your (published) research uncovered thus far and where has it been published? What research is in progress?
A paper (joint with Teny Shapiro) titled, "What a Difference a Day Makes: Quantifying the Effects of Birth Timing Manipulation on Infant Health" was published in the Journal of Health Economics. The paper exploits a natural experiment created by child tax benefits which rewards births that occur just before the new year, to better understand the full costs of birth timing manipulation. Using data on all births in the U.S. from 1990 to 2000, we first confirm that expectant parents respond to the financial incentives by electing to give birth in December rather than January. We find that most of the manipulation comes from changes in the timing of cesarean sections. Small birth timing changes, even at full-term, lead to lower birthweight, a lower Apgar score, and an increase in the likelihood of being low birthweight. Other current research projects examine the effect of information about one's own academic ability on educational attainment, the health impacts of Women Infants and Children (WIC), the intergenerational transmission of health, and the economic returns to education for teenage mothers.