Ph.D. Spotlight: Is State Safety Net Capacity Adequate to Meet Basic Needs?

The decentralization of welfare allows governments to experiment and create a variety of goods in response to differences in constituent pressures, institutional constraints, and resource constraints. An important measure of the performance of a state’s social safety net is how effective it is at protecting the less fortunate during a contracting economy. State governments influence…

Ph.D. Spotlight: Essays in Public Economics

The essays in this dissertation explore the intersection of public policy and personal decisions: attending college, adopting a child, or choosing the right neighborhood. These selections have an enduring effect on an individual’s life and are constantly influenced by government policy. In three essays, this dissertation examines policy-induced variation of personal decisions and the effects…

From Murphy’s Law to Murphy’s Regulations: What Actually Goes Wrong in Public Programs

Yet these solutions have not caught on because screening against a single criterion is so entrenched in public policy. Perhaps if Murphy’s Regulations were to become as much a part of the public policy lexicon as Murphy’s Law, attention would turn to what actually does go wrong as opposed to throwing up hands in the assumption that everything is going wrong.