"The Effects of STEM-Focused Scholarship on College Student Outcomes: Evidence from Administrative Data" Job Market Paper *
Abstract: In 2014, New York State initiated the NYS STEM Incentive Program (NSIP) to encourage college students to enter STEM fields. The program provides scholarships to high-performing students who pursue STEM degrees and agree to work in STEM in New York State for five years after graduation. In this paper, I use administrative data from a large university and an event study design to estimate the effects of NSIP on student outcomes. I find that the program raises the likelihood of students majoring in STEM by 19% and graduating with a STEM degree by 17%. However, these results are driven almost entirely by effects on men. Thus, while NSIP does draw more students into STEM, it increases the STEM entry rate gender gap. Additionally, using American Community Survey data and a synthetic control approach, I estimate that NSIP considerably increases in-state students' likelihood of choosing STEM occupations within New York State.
* Note: I presented my job market paper at ASSA 2023 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.
"Tuition Exemption and Employment: Evidence from China’s Reform on Vocational Secondary Education" Working Paper
Abstract: To provide fair educational opportunities and enhance the attractiveness of vocational secondary education (VSE), China has gradually implemented free-tuition policies for VSE in various provinces. The overall effects of tuition exemption on the educational, labor market, and social outcomes are unknown. In this paper, I exploit the staggered policy implementation across provinces and provide causal evidence of tuition exemption of VSE’s impacts on these outcomes. Using data from China Family Panel Studies, I find that tuition exemption succeeded in improving enrollment in vocational secondary schools, particularly among women. Additionally, I find the policy encourages labor market participation and increases personal income, somewhat weakening the gender gap in earnings.