[Latest Draft PDF]        [First Draft (April, 2022) PDF]        [SSRN]         [MAPC parcel-level zoning data]

Media Coverage: The Bloomberg News 1, The Bloomberg News 2, Forbes, Brookings Institute, GWU Regulation Digest

[Working Paper PDF]        [Mapping Prejudice data]

Media Coverage: Wall Street Journal, PBS, Philadelphia Inquirer, InequaliTalks Podcast, Richmond Fed Economic Brief, Heller-Hurwicz Institute

This paper subsumes the paper "Long Shadow of Racial Discrimination History: Evidence from Housing Covenants from Minneapolis", with William Speagle & Kevin Ehrman-Solberg 

[Working Paper PDF]         [SSRN] 

Media Coverage: Heller-Hurwicz Institute


Awarded Russell Sage Foundation and Gates Foundation Pipeline Grant

Abstract: Racially-restrictive covenants, which prevented the sale and rental of housing to several racial and ethnic minorities, were a common phenomenon in the first half of the 20th century in many northern cities in the U.S. In this paper, we study how these racially-restrictive covenants affected the socio-economic and geographic structure of urban areas and how their effects have persisted over time. In the first part of the paper, we leverage plausible exogenous variation in the changes of water bodies and soil quality to predict the presence of covenants. We find that racial covenants are negatively correlated with natural amenities, suggesting that they were used as substitutes of location characteristics that were potentially highly valued by city residents. In the second part of the paper, we will employ a location choice model to disentangle the various channels through which racial covenants shaped the geography of northern cities and measure the welfare of counterfactual housing policies.

Abstract: This paper evaluates the potential for different assignments for allocating teachers to schools within a school district to affects student achievement and teacher turnover and quality. We contrast assignments that maximize student outcomes and compare it to the one that maximizes teacher welfare. We estimate a structural model using administrative data on teacher transfer applications, interviews, offers, and acceptances linked to student test scores, where we observe all teacher and principal choices during the hiring period, which disentangles teacher and school preferences, teacher-school match quality, and teaching effectiveness. Teachers prefer working in schools with larger shares of proficient and high-income students, and in particular, value teaching students of their own race. School principals' choice of teachers is statistically uncorrelated with teacher experience and education. Changing the assignment of teachers to schools affects the dynamics of teacher turnover, experience accumulation, and student achievement.


[Research Report Link]         [Companion Federal Reseve Bank of Boston Working Paper No. 22-10]

[Article Link]  Reprinted in, September 20, 2022 [] and Amar Ujala (Hindi), September 16, 2022 [Amar Ujala]