I am an applied microeconometrician with broad interests in labor, education, and crime. I use quasi-experimental and structural methods to identify causal relationships that are valuable to policymakers and the public. My most recent work examines the impact of violent video game releases on US crime patterns. I teach undergraduate courses in microeconomics and labor economics. I received my PhD from the University of Oregon in 2023
The Effect of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime (with Gretchen Gamrat)
We analyze the effect that violent video games have on violent crime in the United States. Using county-level variation in retail sales of ``mature" video games, some of which occur on proprietary platforms, we leverage exogenous variation in exposure to identify corresponding changes in crime outcomes. Especially after high-profile violent crimes, policymakers and the news media frequently argue that increased exposure to violent games leads to increased violent crime. We find no such evidence. If anything, our analysis suggests that short-run decreases in violent crime, specifically violent sexual offenses, follow the release of mature video games.
US social transfer programs vary substantially across states, incentivizing households to locate in states with more generous transfer programs. Further, transfer formulas often decrease in income, therefore rewarding low-income households for living in low-paying cities. We quantify these distortions by combining a spatial equilibrium model with a detailed model of transfer programs in the US. The current system leads to locational inefficiency of 4.38% of total transfer spending. A reform that both harmonizes transfer policies across states and indexes household income to local average earnings reduces this inefficiency by over 85 percent while still preserving the programs’ means-tested nature.