Work in progress

"Student demand and the supply of college courses" [Job Market Paper]

Media coverage: Education Next

In an era of rapid technological and social change, do universities adapt enough to play their important role in creating knowledge? To examine university adaptation, I extracted the information contained in the course catalogs of over 450 US universities spanning two decades (2000-2023). When there are changes in student demand, universities respond inelastically, both in terms of course quantity and content. Supply inelasticity is especially pronounced in fields experiencing declining demand and is more pronounced at public universities. Using Natural Language Processing, I further show that while the content of existing courses remains largely unchanged, newly-created courses incorporate topics related to current events and job skills. Notably, at selective institutions, new content focuses on societal issues, while at less selective institutions, new content emphasizes job-relevant skills. This study contributes uniquely to our understanding of the supply-side factors that affect how universities adapt to the rapidly evolving landscape.

"Anatomy of labor market distress" (with Eric Hanushek, Simon Jansenn, and Lisa Simon) [Slides]

Earnings losses after mass layoffs are highly skewed: a small number of workers experience catastrophic losses, while most workers recover quickly. This paper documents the heterogeneity in earnings losses after mass layoffs and the adjustments driving these differences. We study workers from firms in West Germany that closed between 2000-2005. For each laid-off worker, we create a synthetic control from similar workers with matching earnings trajectories who weren't laid off during that period. Which workers experience the greatest losses is not a priori predictable based on fixed characteristics, but is associated with post-layoff adaptability, like switching professions or relocating. Consequently, pre-layoff targeted policies to assist these workers might not be as effective as post-layoff interventions. 

"The importance of non-major courses in predicting college students' post-graduation outcomes" (with Merrill Warnick)

"Value-Added in Postsecondary Education" (with Merrill Warnick and Anthony Yim)

Published and forthcoming work

"Long-run Trends in the U.S. SES—Achievement Gap" (with Eric Hanushek, Paul Peterson, Laura Talpey, and Ludger Woessmann), Fall 2022 Education Finance and Policy 


"The Research Challenges of the AI Labor Market Challenges" (with Eric Hanushek and Lisa Simon)