Essays on the Economics of Education Policy and Regulation
This dissertation includes three papers which use modern microeconometric methods to estimate the causal effect of policies relevant to education and urban economics. The first chapter explores whether state mandated personal financial literacy education during high school improves federal student loan repayment after college. I find that these mandates improve federal student loan repayment and that the effects are largest for first generation and low income students at public universities. The second chapter investigates whether providing additional meals over the weekend to elementary school students facing food insecurity improves test scores and attendance. I find that the treated students performed better on both language arts and math standardized tests than otherwise similar students not selected for treatment. I also find improvements in attendance that suggest improvements in health for treated students. The third chapter estimates the impact of an increase in the supply of New York City taxis on localized congestion. We find that the roll-out of newly authorized taxis caused a local decrease in speed. We use heterogeneous changes in speed and taxi supply to estimate how much of the recent decline in speed in midtown Manhattan is attributable to the rise of for-hire vehicles. We estimate that 60% of the recent slowdown in midtown Manhattan is caused by new supply from ridehail applications.