Working Papers

Bridging the Gap: The Effect of Licensing and Professional Certification on the Gender Wage Gap

Despite advances in workplace protection and gender equality, the gender wage gap is still a prominent feature in the workplace. In this paper, I construct a model to examine the individual choice that leads to one investing in a license or certification and propose different mechanisms through which the gender wage gap can manifest. Additionally, I study the effect of occupational licensing and professional certification on the gender wage gap using 2014 survey data made available by the US Census. I have found that, in several industries, women who possess a license or a certification receive a lower return on wages than men who possess a license. This is true even in industries where women dominate men, such as teaching and nursing. Furthermore, I employ an Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition technique to determine if licensing does indeed close the gender wage gap. While not universal, in certain industries, this investment in additional skills does seem to have a small but significant effect towards closing the wage gap between women and men.

You can view the latest available version of the draft here.

A Deep Learning Assessment of the Right to Counsel

The recent events of Covid-19 and rising inflation have magnified the importance and fragility of housing for low-income individuals. In response to this, we empirically assess the effectiveness of an initiative growing in popularity across the US known as the Right to Counsel (RTC). Aiming to combat the 3.6 million eviction fillings each year in the U.S., a RTC ensures access to free legal representation for low-income individuals facing eviction. Complimenting the small, but growing Economic literature on this topic, we consider the indirect effects of this policy. Exploiting the staggered roll-out across the state of Connecticut, we assess the extent to which this policy may actually increase housing instability by making it harder for those currently unhoused to find permanent housing. Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, we find little evidence to suggest that such a policy has adverse effects at scale as some have speculated.

Joint work with Patrick Power and Markus Schwedeler.

You can find the latest available version of the draft here.