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Cornell University Cornell Brooks Public Policy

Areas of Specialty

The graduate faculty have multidisciplinary expertise in a range of substantive policy areas, including Education Policy, Social Policy, Health and Health Care Policy, and Regulatory Policy. This is paired with cutting-edge methodological expertise in topics such as Applied Econometrics, Demographic Techniques, Program Evaluation, and Mixed Methods. Our faculty actively mentor Ph.D. students and include them in their research, conference presentations, and publications.  

Education Policy 

Research topics span many issues at the intersection of labor economics and public finance, as well as the connections between social inequality and education policy. Recent research on this topic in Public Policy includes: the role of financial constraints in student educational investment decisions; the effect of government resources on educational outcomes; identification of educational production functions (which includes the role of teacher quality, school organizations and class sizes on student achievement); teacher labor markets and the effects of market-based interventions, such as merit pay and charter schools; how school choice policies shape residential decisions and residential segregation; and the consequences of mass incarceration for children’s educational experiences and outcomes.

Recent faculty and student collaborations on education topics (Ph.D. students in bold):

Cohodes, Sarah R., Daniel S. GrossmanSamuel A. Kleiner and Michael F. Lovenheim. 2016. “The Effect of Health Care Access on Schooling: Evidence from Public Insurance Expansions.” Journal of Human Resources 51(3): 727-759.  

Fitzpatrick, Maria D. and Michael Lovenheim. 2014. “Early Retirement Incentives and Student Achievement.” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 6(3): 120-154.

Haskins, Anna R., Mariana Amorim, and Meaghan Mingo. 2018. “Parental Incarceration and Child Outcomes: Those at Risk, Evidence of Impacts, Methodological Insights, and Areas of Future Work.” Sociology Compass 12: 1-14.

Lovenheim, Michael F. and Alexander Willen. 2019. “The Long-run Effect of Teacher Collective Bargaining.” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 11(3): 292-324.

MichelmoreKatherine and Peter Rich. 2019. “Trajectories of Economic Disadvantage and the Black-White High School Completion Gap.” Presentation at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. New York, NY (August).

Social Policy 

Public Policy research on social policy covers multidisciplinary perspectives on pressing societal issues and debates regarding the design of social programs. Faculty and students examine the dynamics of family composition and household decision-making; social safety net policies that impact economically-vulnerable populations; intersections between labor policy and social policy; and how public policy influences immigration, criminal justice, and child development. 

Recent faculty and student collaborations on social policy topics (Ph.D. students in bold):

AddoFeneba R. and Sassler, Sharon. 2010. “Financial Arrangements and Relationship Quality in Low-Income Couples.” Family Relations, 59(4): 408-423.

Hall Matt, Kelly Musick, and Youngmin Yi. 2019. “Legal Status and the Living Arrangements and Family Formation Experiences of Latino Immigrants.” Population and Development Review 45(1): 81-101.

Leung, Pauline and Zhuan Pei. 2020. “Further Education during Unemployment.” Princeton University Industrial Relations Section Working Paper #642. 

Lichter, Daniel T., Joseph P. Price, and Jeffrey M. Swigert. 2020. “Demographic Mismatches in the Marriage Market.” Journal of Marriage and Family 82(April): 796-809.

Reyes, Adriana M. 2019. “Mitigating Poverty through the Formation of Extended Family Households: Race and Ethnic Differences.” Social Problems. 

Tach, Laura, Rachel Dunifon, and Douglas Miller, Eds. 2020. Confronting Inequality: How Policies and Practices Shape Children’s Opportunities. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press. 

Waller, Maureen R., and Allison Dwyer Emory. 2018. “Visitation Orders, Family Courts, and Fragile Families.” Journal of Marriage and Family 80(3): 653-670.

Wildeman, Christopher, Maria D. Fitzpatrick, and Alyssa Goldman. 2018. “Conditions of  Confinement in American Prisons and Jails.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 14: 29–47.

Health Policy

In the health policy concentration, we study topics such as the economics of risky health behaviors (e.g., cigarette smoking, obesity) and related policies; consumers’ response to health information and advertising; health insurance markets, both public (Medicare, Medicaid) and private, including regulation, consequences of coverage, and trends in managed care; pharmaceutical policy; education of physicians and medical labor markets; welfare effects (benefits and costs) of new medical technologies; and health disparities across the life course and among demographic groups. 

Recent faculty and student collaborations on health policy topics (Ph.D. students in bold):

Black, Dan A., Seth G. Sanders, Evan J. Taylor, Lowell J. Taylor. 2015. “The Impact of the Great Migration on Mortality of African Americans: Evidence from the Deep South.” American Economic Review 105(2): 477-503.

Cawley, John, David Frisvold, Anna Hill, and David Jones. 2020. “The Impact of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax on Prices and Product Availability.” Journal of Policy Analysis & Management.

Cawley, John, Barton Willage, and David Frisvold. 2018. Pass-Through of a Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages at the Philadelphia International Airport.” JAMA, 319(3):305-306.

Dave, Dhaval, Daniel Dench, Michael Grossman, Donald Kenkel, and Henry Saffer. 2019. “Does E-Cigarette Advertising Encourage Adult Smokers to Quit?” Journal of Health Economics.

Jin, Lawrence and Nicolas R. Ziebarth. 2020. “Sleep, Health, and Human Capital: Evidence from Daylight Saving Time” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 170: 174-192.

Knittel, Christopher R., Douglas Miller, and Nicholas J. Sanders. 2016. “Caution, drivers! Children Present: Traffic, Pollution, and Infant Health.” Review of Economics and Statistics 98 (2), 350-366.

Reyes, Adriana and Marc Garcia. 2019. “Gender and Age of Migration Differences in Mortality among Older Mexican Americans.” The Journals of Gerontology: Series B.

Regulatory Policy

This concentration area focuses on the impact of the social, legal, regulatory and economic environment on consumer and producer behavior. In recent years, Public Policy faculty and students have studied the effects of law on consumer well-being; the regulation of market information and product quality; the role of mass media and consumer choice; and the determinants of consumer behavior. 

Recent faculty and student collaborations on regulatory and consumer policy topics (Ph.D. students in bold):

Jones, Lauren E., Cazilia Loibl, Sharon Tennyson. 2015. “Effects of Informational Nudges on Debt Repayment Behaviors.” Journal of Economic Psychology 51: 16-33.

Kenkel, Don, Alan Mathios, and Hua Wang. 2018. “Advertising and Health: A Case Study of Menthol Cigarette Advertising and Cigarette Demand.” American Journal of Health Economics 4 (3): 263–286. 

Parkinson, Kristy, Joseph Price, Kosali Simon, and Sharon Tennyson. 2014. “The Influence of FDA Advisory Information and Black Box Warnings on Individual Use of Prescription Antidepressants.” Review of Economics of the Household 12 (4), 771-790. 

Rouhani, Omid, R. Richard Geddes, H. Oliver Gao, Germa Bel. 2016. “Social Welfare Analysis of Investment Public–Private Partnership Approaches for Transportation Projects.” Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice 88, 86-103.

Skurka, C., Byrne, S., Davydova, J., Kemp, D., Greiner Safi, A., Avery, R., Dorf, M., Mathios, A., & Niederdeppe, J. (2018). Testing Competing Explanations for Graphic Warning Label Effects among Adult Smokers and Non-smoking Youth. Social Science and Medicine, 211, 294-303.