Work in Progress

Baby’s Gone: The Effect of Increased Sentencing Severity on Fertility and Family Formation

Abstract: Over the last several decades, the United States’ incarceration rate has steadily increased. By 2011, close to one percent of the adult population was experiencing some form of correctional supervision. Although incarcerated men are physically separated from their communities, their absence may still affect those who are left behind. Using the change in incarceration caused by a sentencing reform in North Carolina, together with an intensity of treatment research design, I show that effective incarceration policies have spillover effects on family formation patterns. In the wake of the policy change, unmarried, and young black women reduce or delay their fertility, and the composition of births shifted towards women of higher socioeconomic status. At the same time, I find that among those who gave birth, the quality of partner matches decline. The probability of marriage declines for white women, but I observe no effect for black women.

The Effect of Increased Sentencing Severity on Infant and Maternal Health and Mortality
Immigration Shocks and Native Worker Outcomes, 1910 – 1930, with Rowena Gray, Sarah Quincy, and Zachary Ward

Published work

Old Immigrants, New Niches: Russian Jewish Agricultural Colonies and Native Workers in Southern New Jersey, 1880-1910, with Sarah Quincy. RSF: Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 4 (1), 20-38: 2018.

Abstract: The effect of immigration shocks on native workers in a labor niche remains an open question. We test how workers in the farm and nonfarm sectors were affected by the establishment of Russian Jewish agricultural colonies in southern New Jersey in the late nineteenth century. By following the same individuals across the 1880 and 1910 US censuses, we avoid making assumptions about the substitutability of immigrants and native workers. Russian Jews established themselves as farmers or factory workers with the help of international aid societies. Many native workers increased their occupational standing by transitioning to occupations complementary to agricultural and semi-skilled factory work, the immigrants’ main niches. We see no impact on farmers, likely due to the structure of agricultural markets. We also find a decreased probability of out-migration for natives living near a successful agricultural colony, with occupational upgrading concentrated among stayers.