Current work

Indian air and water pollution

Indian cities are among the most polluted in the world. A major driver of this pollution is agriculture. In a series of projects I am examining the role of anti-poverty efforts in increasing the use of burning to clear crop residue from fields, the consequences of crop burning for health outcomes, and the impact of changes in agricultural practices on water pollution.

Working papers:

Earth, Wind, and Fire: The impact of anti-poverty efforts on Indian agriculture and air pollution

On-going projects:

The impact of NREGA on Indian groundwater availability (with Hemant Pullabhotla)

Climate change, pollution, and crime in Texas

It is well known that high temperatures can lead to increases in crime. Using a new, comprehensive data-set on arrests and court actions in Texas co-authors and I are examining how this relationship is modified by neighborhood characteristics.

Working papers:

Heat, Crime, and Punishment (with Valentin Bolotnyy)

On-going projects:

Extreme flooding, crime, and migration (with Valentin Bolotnyy)

Air pollution and criminal activity (with Valentin Bolotnyy)

Heat exposure, human capital, and workers

Heat reduces human performance across a range of tasks and settings. I have a series of on-going projects with Professor R. Jisung Park examining the consequences of heat exposure for workers and students across a variety of outcomes, including productivity and safety, and the role of policy in promoting adaptation to reduce the consequences of heat exposure.

Working papers:

Temperature, Workplace Safety, and Labor Market Inequality (with Jisung Park and Nora Pankratz)

Will we adapt? Temperature, Labor, and Adaptation to Climate Change (with Jisung Park)

Learning is Inhibited by Hotter Temperature: Both Internationally and within the United States (with Jisung Park and Joshua Goodman)

Press coverage:

New York Times (part 2) (part 3); LA Times; Washington Post; The Guardian (part 2); Vox; Economic Times; Science News; NPR; Seattle Times; Scientific American; US Council on Economic Advisors

On-going projects:

Temperature, safety and compensating variation (with Jisung Park and Michael Dalton)

Smoke exposure and crop yields

(with Sherrie Wang)

2020 has seen the largest area burned by wildfire in California's recorded history. The smoke from these fires blows far beyond California's borders however. One negative consequence of this pollution may be reductions in agricultural yields in the American Midwest.