Danielle H. Sandler

Research

Publications

Foster, Lucia, Julia Manzella, Erika McEntarfer, and Danielle H. Sandler. 2020. Employment and Earnings for Federal Government Economists: Empirical Evidence by Gender and Race
AEA Papers and Proceedings, 110: 210-14.

We contribute to the literature on diversity in the economics profession, which has mostly focused on academia, by providing a first look at the employment and earnings of federal government economists by gender and race. Combining micro-level data on federal workers with information on their earnings in federal and private sector jobs, we examine the share of federal government economists by race and gender, earnings differences by race and gender, and whether earning gaps differ during their federal government tenure.

Schulkind, Lisa and Danielle H. Sandler. 2019. The Timing of Teenage Births: Estimating the Effect on High School Graduation and Later Life Outcomes
Demography, 56: 345–365.

We examine the long-term outcomes for a population of teenage mothers who give birth to their children around the end of high school. We compare the mothers whose high school education was interrupted by childbirth (because the child was born before her expected graduation date) with mothers who did not experience the same disruption to their education. We find that mothers who gave birth during the school year are 5.4 percentage points less likely to complete their high school education, are less likely to be married, and have more children than their counterparts who gave birth just a few months later. The wages for these two sets of teenage mothers are not statistically different, but with a lower likelihood of marriage and more children, the households of the treated mothers are more likely to fall below the poverty threshold. Although differences in educational attainment have narrowed over time, the differences in labor market outcomes and family structure have remained stable.

Danielle H. Sandler. 2017. Externalities of public housing: The effect of public housing demolitions on local crime
Regional Science and Urban Economics, 62: 24-35.

This paper evaluates the potential for negative externalities from public housing by examining crime rates before and after demolition of public housing projects in Chicago between 1995 and 2010. Using data on block-level crimes by type of crime merged to detailed geographic data on individual public housing demolitions, I find evidence that Chicago's public housing imposed significant externalities on the surrounding neighborhood. Using a difference in difference approach comparing neighborhoods around public housing projects to nearby neighborhoods I find that crime decreases by 8.8% after a demolition. This decrease is concentrated in violent crime. I use an event study to show that the decrease occurs at the approximate date of the eviction of the residents and persists for at least 5 years after the demolition. Neighborhoods with large demolitions and demolitions of public housing that had been poorly maintained display the largest crime decreases.

Phillips, David C. and Danielle H. Sandler. 2015. Does public transit spread crime? Evidence from temporary rail station closures
Regional Science and Urban Economics, 52: 13-26.

We test whether public transit access affects crime using a novel identification strategy based on temporary, maintenance-related closures of stations in the Washington, DC rail transit system. The closures generate plausibly exogenous variation in transit access across space and time, allowing us to test the popular notion that crime can be facilitated by public transit. Closing one station reduces crime by 5% in the vicinity of stations on the same train line. Most of this effect remains after controlling for decreased ridership, indicating that a decrease in the availability of victims does not drive most of our results. We find suggestive evidence that crime falls more at stations that tend to import crime, i.e. stations where perpetrators are less likely to live. We also see larger decreases at stations on the same line when the transit authority closes stations that tend to export crime. These heterogeneous effects suggest that the response of perpetrators to increased transportation costs contributes to the decrease in crime.

Sandler, Danielle H. and Ryan Sandler. 2014. Multiple event studies in public finance and labor economics: A simulation study with applications
Demography, 56: 345–365.

Event study is a powerful tool for analyzing the dynamic effects of policy and other shocks in microeconomics. However, there is little understanding of how to apply this method when individuals or locations experience multiple events in close succession. We explore methods of estimating a multiple event study with Monte Carlo simulations. Allowing multiple event-time dummies to be turned on at once generally produces unbiased estimates, while ignoring subsequent events or duplicating observations to have one observation per individual-event-time create trends in the outcome variable before and after an event that can be misleading to the researcher. We present empirical applications which show that the choice of method can make important differences in practice.

Working Papers and Reports

Diversity and Labor Market Outcomes in the Economics Profession
with Lucia Foster and Erika McEntarfer

While the lack of gender and racial diversity in economics in academia (for students and professors) is well-established, less is known about the overall placement and earnings of economists by gender and race. Understanding demand-side factors is important, as improvements in the supply side by diversifying the pipeline alone may not be enough to improve equity in the profession. Using the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) linked to Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) jobs data, we examine placements and earnings for economists working in the U.S. after receiving a PhD by gender and race. We find enormous dispersion in pay for economists within and across sectors that grows over time. Female PhD economists earn about 12 percent less than their male colleagues on average; Black PhD economists earn about 15 percent less than their white counterparts on average; and overall underrepresented minority PhD economists earn about 8 percent less than their white counterparts. These pay disparities are attenuated in some sectors and when controlling for rank of PhD granting institution and employer.

Employment of Persons Released from Federal Prison in 2010
with E. Ann Carson, Renuka Bhaskar, Leticia E. Fernandez, and Sonya R. Porter

This report fulfills a congressional mandate in the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act, part of the 2019 Defense Reauthorization Act (P.L. 116–92, Title XI, Subtitle B, Section 1124). Congress tasked BJS and the U.S. Census Bureau with reporting on post-prison employment of persons released from federal prison. The records of persons released from federal prison in 2010 (collected by BJS in the Federal Justice Statistics Program) were linked with employment and earnings data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program (collected by the Census Bureau) to estimate the percentage of persons who were employed in the 4 years (16 quarters) after release, as well as their earnings and employment sector. The report presents statistics on both pre-prison and post-prison employment and median earnings, differentiated by age, sex, race and ethnicity, most serious offense, and amount of time served. The report also discusses the industry sectors that employed persons before and after imprisonment.

Female Executives and the Motherhood Penalty
with Seth Murray and Matthew Staiger

Childbirth and subsequent breaks from the labor market are a primary reason why the average earnings of women is lower than that of men. This paper uses linked survey and administrative data from the United States to investigate whether the sex composition of executives at the firm, defined as the top earners, affects the earnings and employment outcomes of new mothers. We begin by documenting that (i) the male-female earnings gap is smaller in industries in which a larger share of executives are women, and (ii) the male-female earnings gap has declined more in industries that have experienced larger increases in the share of executives who are female. Despite these cross-sectional and longitudinal correlations, we find no evidence that the sex composition of the executives at the firm has a causal effect on the childbirth and motherhood penalties that impact women's earnings and employment.

Maternal Labor Dynamics: Participation, Earnings, and Employer Changes
with Nichole Szembrot

This paper describes the labor dynamics of U.S. women after they have had their first and subsequent children. We build on the child penalty literature by showing the heterogeneity of the size and pattern of labor force participation and earnings losses by demographic characteristics of mothers and the characteristics of their employers. The analysis uses longitudinal administrative earnings data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics database combined with the Survey of Income and Program Participation survey data to identify women, their fertility timing, and employment. We find that women experience a large and persistent decrease in earnings and labor force participation after having their first child. The penalty grows over time, driven by the birth of subsequent children. Non-white mothers, unmarried mothers, and mothers with more education are more likely to return to work following the birth of their first child. Conditional on returning to the labor force, women who change employers earn more after the birth of their first child than women who return to their pre-birth employers. The probability of returning to the pre-birth employer and industry is heterogeneous over both the demographics of mothers and the characteristics of their employers.