“Does Growing Up in Tax-Subsidized Housing Lead to Higher Earnings and Educational Attainment?” This paper investigates the effects of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) on residents of buildings qualifying for the credit. Specifically, it analyzes whether individuals who grow up in LIHTC housing are more likely to enroll in post-secondary education programs and have higher earnings as adults. Using administrative tax records, I find that each additional year spent in LIHTC housing as a kid is associated with a 3.5 percent increase in the likelihood of attending a higher education program for four years or more, and a 3.2 percent increase in future earnings. Furthermore, I find that there are heterogeneous effects when comparing individuals who live in LIHTC housing located in neighborhoods with different characteristics, and among families that have varying levels of housing security prior to entering a LIHTC building. Based on this analysis, I conclude that the driving mechanism behind the positive estimated LIHTC effect is likely that the housing subsidy provides families with a more stable living situation.
“Savings Responses to Auto-Enrollment: Evidence from a Large Panel of Worker-Employer Linked Data” with Jake Mortenson, Heidi Schramm, and Kathleen Mackie This paper evaluates the effects of firms adopting automatic enrollment policies for defined contribution (DC) retirement plans on the saving behavior and wages of employees. Using an original data set of over 8,000 firms that adopted auto-enrollment policies between 2010 and 2016, it estimates distributional saving and income effects both within and across firms. We do this by linking firm-level pension filings (Form 5500) with employee-level wage filings (Form W-2), and comparing total and deferred compensation of workers who were hired in the years before and after each auto-enrollment policy was implemented. In addition, we decompose estimated average effects by employee and firm characteristics, including pension plan details such as employer contribution matching rates.
“Measuring the Education Effects of Rental Subsidies: A Comparison of Children Growing Up in Mixed-Income Buildings” This research compares the educational attainment of individuals growing up in mixed-income apartment buildings constructed under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). Using administrative tax data, it exploits discontinuities in rent subsidies based on income to evaluate differences in the outcomes of children from families below and above the low income threshold in each building.