Award Year


Award Type

First Prize

Dissertation Advisor

Orley Ashenfelter


The first two chapters of this dissertation examine different aspects of the identification and estimation of the causal effect of education on labor market earnings. The last chapter appraises the extent of abusive behavior in the Unemployment Insurance program, one of the major social programs in the United States. The third chapter, written in collaboration with Orley Ashenfelter and David Ashmore, reports the results of a series of unique, randomized trials designed to measure whether stricter enforcement and verification of work search behavior would lead to lower unemployment claims and benefit payments in the U.S. Unemployment Insurance program. Our results provide no support for the view that the failure to actively search for work has been a cause of overpayment in the UI system.

Link to dissertation full text