"The Impact of Nearly Universal Insurance Coverage on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act"
Abstract: This study investigates the impact of public health insurance expansions under The Affordable Care Act (ACA) on children's educational achievement, measured by test scores, available from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data. The ACA, passed in 2010, includes dozens of provisions to expand health insurance coverage, slow the growth rate in health care costs, and reform the market for private health insurance. The improvement in children's achievement may arise from either better health or a greater level of household resources as the ACA would reduce a family's out-of-pocket medical spending. I utilize a difference-in-difference-in-differences model with the differences coming from time, state Medicaid expansion status, and local area pre-treatment uninsured rates. In addition, the effect of ACA on child achievement can be estimated using the synthetic control approach by creating a synthetic comparison (control) group that is a weighted average of states that opt out of the ACA Medicaid expansions following the Supreme Court's ruling in 2012. The comparison between estimates obtained from two different approaches checks the robustness of findings and validates the interpretation of the estimates as causal.
"Sibling Spillover Effects in Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills"
Abstract: This study estimates sibling spillover effects in cognitive and non-cognitive skills within a school fixed-effect model by exploiting differences in peer group characteristics among siblings. Under the conditions of intransitivity of interactions that friends of siblings are not friends, the characteristics of siblings' friends can instrument for siblings' outcome. Using Add Health data, this study finds that there exist large sibling spillover effects in academic performance, pro-social behavior and psychological traits. The richness of information provided by Add Health data allows me to investigate possible mechanisms that drive these spillover effects. I find that siblings pose as important role models and parents can significantly promote the quality and frequency of sibling interactions to facilitate positive spillovers.
"The Determinants and Impacts of Exposure to Bullying" (with Suyong Song)
Abstract: This study investigates the extent to which cognitive and non-cognitive skills could lower the chances of bullying victimization during adolescence, and consequently spill over to impact academic success and mental health later in life. We use data from wave 1 (1994-1994), wave 2 (1996) and wave 3 (2001-2002) of the nationally representative sample of US youth (National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health) to examine the longitudinal relationship between child's skills, early victimization and later outcomes. We make use of early test scores available in Wave-I data to identify the joint distribution of latent cognitive and non-cognitive skills and employ a factor analytic model for identifying treatment effects of bullying. Our model allows us to estimate the heterogeneity in treatment effects of bullying across latent skill levels. Our study aims to provide important insights into potential interventions that may reduce incidences of bullying.