Faculty in media

Research by Eric Brunner, Shaun Dougherty and Steve Ross on Career and Technical Education

Research by Eric Brunner, Shaun Dougherty and Steve Ross on Career and Technical Education in Connecticut has been featured recently by both the Brookings-Brown Center and in The Conversation.

As described in an article for UConn Today:

Career and Technical H.S. Grads Have More Initial Earning Power, Study Says

Males who graduate from career and technical high schools in Connecticut earn more than their peers in the years immediately following graduation, according to a new study by the University of Connecticut.

Through age 23, the career and technical high school graduates earned 31% more than students who graduated from traditional high schools, according to the team from UConn’s departments of public policy, economics, and education.

The past decade has witnessed a resurgence in interest in career and technical education as an alternative pathway for high school students, the authors write in their study, published in the Annenberg Institute’s education working paper series.

“Career and technical education has been an important strategy for improving the economic opportunities of students who might not pursue a traditional four-year college degree,” says author Eric Brunner, UConn professor of economics and policy. “This is especially important given the declining opportunities for non-college educated workers.”

Even as the job market evolves, researchers found positive results for both the educational and labor market outcomes for students at the 16 technical high schools in Connecticut, where 7% of the state’s students enroll.

The team examined data on approximately 57,000 eighth-graders from 2006-2013, through age 23.

They found that male students who went to career and technical high school in Connecticut were about 10% more likely to graduate high school, with the improved labor market outcomes being accompanied by a roughly 8% dip in their likelihood to attend college.

Being disadvantaged, being eligible for free-lunch programs, and more likely to have lower scores on standardized tests did not lower the effectiveness of the career and technical high schools, Brunner says.

However, the findings were limited to males. There were not any noticeable effects in attending a career technical school, either positive or negative, for females, says Stephen Ross, co-author and UConn professor of economics.

“One of our next goals is to look closer at females in these settings and hopefully come up with some answers,” says Ross.

Additionally, in December of 2019, the researchers are slated to receive data on the eighth-graders through the age of 26, providing a fuller picture of the effects.

The study comes as the government continues to invest in this area of education. In 2018, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act was reauthorized, providing $1.2 billion in funding for these programs and job training for students.

Can this study be applied to other states? Possibly, says Ross. While the data clearly shows the positive effect of career technical schools, it’s important to take into account the format of Connecticut.

“For most states, career technical high schools are all over but in Connecticut they really have it as a whole model with one umbrella, one superintendent and its own district,” Ross says.

Further, the degree of career and technical education offered by a traditional high school may impact the findings.

“If your [traditional high] school had a lot of career technical education then getting into the system wasn’t as important,” says Brunner. But if the traditional high school did not, “you got a bigger payoff for going to a career technical high school.”

Professors Baggio and Simon in the WSJ

Professors Michele Baggio and David Simon and co-author Alberto Chong have had the research in their work “Sex, Drugs, and Baby Booms: Can Behavior Overcome Biology?” featured in a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal:

https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2018/11/15/medical-marijuana-legalization-leads-to-baby-boomlet-paper-says/

Professor Prakash in the News

Professor Prakash’s recent work on crime against women and all women police stations in India has been in the news. Most recently, Indian Express, a leading newspaper in India, interviewed him to discuss the economic effects of violence against women in a podcast prepared for United Nation, India.

He also presented his latest work (joint with Sofia Amaral (ifo Institute) and Sonia Bhalotra (Essex)) “Gender, Crime and Punishment: Evidence from Women Police Stations in India” at the Urban Economics Association Conference at Columbia University and the North East Universities Development Consortium Conference at Cornell University in October, 2018. In this paper, the authors find that the presence of All Women Police Stations in India leads to more reporting of violence against women crime, in particular, female kidnappings and domestic violence. The study finds modest impact on the measures of police deterrence such as arrests.

Professor Ritter and the Peruvian Soda Tax

Professor Patricia Ritter has had her research featured in the debates about an increase in the tax on sugary drinks recently implemented in Peru, and was asked to write an article for the newspaper El Comercio on the topic:

https://elcomercio.pe/opinion/colaboradores/isc-gaseosas-salud-obesidad-opinion-debate-patricia-ritter-noticia-521267

In addition, she has been interviewed by Altavoz:

https://altavoz.pe/2018/05/11/105103/es-positivo-aumentar-el-impuesto-a-las-gaseosas-y-licores-tres-expertos-opinan/

and she was mentioned in three other articles:

https://elcomercio.pe/economia/isc-subida-impuesto-selectivo-consumo-bebidas-azucaradas-pablo-lavado-noticia-519474

https://elcomercio.pe/opinion/editorial/editorial-cambios-impuesto-selectivos-consumo-isc-reforma-tributaria-gobierno-noticia-520299

https://elcomercio.pe/opinion/columnistas/isc-gaseosas-impuesto-selectivo-ahhh-salud-fernando-caceres-noticia-520274

She was mentioned as well at the end of the program Enfoque de los sábados on April 12th:

Professor Langlois Quoted in the Stamford Advocate

Professor Richard Langlois was quoted in an article in the Stamford Advocate, commenting about the Federal Trade Commission response to a possible acquisition by Stamford-based chemical company Tronox .

The article is online at:  http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/business/article/Tronox-grapples-with-litigation-on-planned-12434139.php

Medical Marijuana in the Washington Post and Mother Jones

A recent working paper by co-authors Michele Baggio (UConn faculty, Department of Economics), Alberto Chong (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Economics), and Sungoh Kwon (UConn graduate student, Department of Economics), has been featured in the Washington Post:

 

Medical marijuana took a bite out of alcohol sales …

Alcoholic beverage sales fell by 15 percent following the introduction of medical marijuana laws in a number of states, according to a new working paper by …

And in Mother Jones magazine:

Back in 2009 I wrote a piece for the magazine about marijuana legalization. One of the things I learned is that a key question about the effect of legalization is whether marijuana and alcohol are substitutes or complements. If alcohol and marijuana are substitutes, it means that higher sales of marijuana will likely produce lower […]http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/12/new-study-says-marijuana-legalization-reduces-alcohol-use/

 

The working paper is online at: Helping Settle the Marijuana and Alcohol Debate: Evidence from Scanner Data

Abstract:

We use data on purchases of alcoholic beverages in grocery, convenience, drug, or mass distribution stores in US counties for 2006-2015 to study the link between medical marijuana laws and alcohol consumption and focus on settling the debate between the substitutability or complementarity between marijuana and alcohol. To do this we exploit the differences in the timing of the of marijuana laws among states and find that these two substances are substitutes. Counties located in MML states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 15 percent. Our findings are robust to border counties analysis, a placebo effective dates for MMLs in the treated states, and falsification tests using sales of pens and pencils.

Professor Lanza recently quoted in the Hartford Courant

Professor Steve Lanza, a long-time analyst of the Connecticut economy, is frequently called upon for comment on economic events in the state.

Professor Lanza was quoted in the October 2, 2017 edition of the Hartford Courant about a U.S. Census Bureau report of a troubling drop of 0.4% in the state’s population between 2015 and 2016.

In a separate article in the same edition, Professor Lanza was quoted regarding small businesses as engines of growth in the Stamford CT metropolitan area.

Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India

The American Economic Association has posted an interview with Karthik Muralidharan on “Cycling to School: Increasing Secondary School Enrollment for Girls in India“, the paper that he and Professor Nishith Prakash have published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

The interview is online at

Biking to a better future

An interview with Karthik Muralidharan about closing the education gender gap in India

Professor Prakash is following up on this work with his new project, ‘Wheels of Change: Impact of Cycles on Female Education and Empowerment in Zambia’.  For more information, see Professor Prakash Studies the Impact of Bicycles on Female Education and Empowerment in Zambia