Publication Date


Award Type

Honorable Mention

Dissertation Advisor

John Bound, Charles Brown, Narayan Sastry and Kevin Strange


This thesis consists of three chapters, two of which study the impacts of spatially targeted government subsidies on individuals’ residential location choices and on local labor market outcomes. The first chapter studies the effects of disaster-relief programs on the rebuilding and resettlement choices of New Orleans homeowners following Hurricane Katrina. The second chapter studies the incidence and efficiency of round I of the federal urban Empowerment Zone program, a set of subsidies targeted to businesses operating in six chronically poor neighborhoods in large U.S. cities beginning in the early 1990s. The third chapter develops and
estimates a model of college basketball teams’ optimal strategies across game states and uses the model to reassess the findings of a highly visible study in forensic economics that interpreted skewness in the distribution of favorites’ winning margins as evidence of pervasive illegal point shaving.

Link to dissertation full text