David Sims

130 Faculty Office Building
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602-2363

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Brigham Young University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2019Contemporary State Policies and Intergenerational Income Mobility
with Lars J. Lefgren, Jaren C. Pope: w25896
Using county-level analysis, this study demonstrates that there exists at most a minor relationship between the large, contemporary geographical variation in U.S. intergenerational income mobility and state-level policies. In addition to investigating the effects of specific policies, we introduce an omnibus test for state policy differences in total, based on the principle of geographic discontinuities. We further explore the discrepancy between these findings and the expected efficacy of mobility-enhancing policies seen in common applied economic models and successful program evaluations. We conclude that the gap between quasi-experimental evaluations and observed policy effects presents pressing questions for further study.
May 2018The other 1%: Class Leavening, Contamination and Voting for Redistribution
with Lars Lefgren, Olga Stoddard: w24617
We perform an experiment to measure how changes in the effort exerted by a small fraction of a low-reward group affect the willingness of the high-reward group to vote for redistributive taxation. We find that a substantial fraction of high reward subjects vote in favor of greater redistribution when a very small fraction of high-effort individuals is added to a pool of otherwise low-effort poor. Contaminating a group of high-effort poor with a small number of low-effort individuals causes the most generous rich subjects to vote for less redistribution. These results suggest that anecdotes about the deservedness of a small group of transfer recipients may be effective in changing support for redistribution. We find large gender differences in the results. Relative to men, women respond ...
June 2008The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains
with Brian A. Jacob, Lars Lefgren: w14065
Educational interventions are often narrowly targeted and temporary, and evaluations often focus on the short-run impacts of the intervention. Insofar as the positive effects of educational interventions fadeout over time, however, such assessments may be misleading. In this paper, we develop a simple statistical framework to empirically assess the persistence of treatment effects in education. To begin, we present a simple model of student learning that incorporates permanent as well as transitory learning gains. Using this model, we demonstrate how the parameter of interest - the persistence of a particular measurable education input - can be recovered via instrumental variables as a particular local average treatment effect. We initially motivate this strategy in the context of tea...

Published: Jacob, Brian, Lefgren, Lars and David Sims. (2010). "The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains." Journal of Human Resources 45(4): 915-943.

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