Urban Economics Association Student Prize Session (2018)
Abstract: We study the impact of the 2005-2015 international student boom on local housing markets. By constructing a sample of American college towns characterizing rarely studied local markets, we show that international students exogenously sustained demand for rentals and residential investment even during the housing bust. Using an instrument based on the historical distribution of foreign students across college towns, we find that international students increased rents by 1% and home prices by 1.6% relative to the housing boom peak. An analysis exploiting within-city dynamics reveals that neighborhoods near campus absorbed international inflows by replacing single-family homes with apartment rentals.
"Beyond tuition: College cost accuracy and student outcomes"
Urban Economics Association Student Prize Session (2019)
(Draft coming soon)
Abstract: This paper goes beyond the focus of the college affordability debate on tuition and studieshow living expenses affect the human capital accumulation of US college students. Cost ofliving (COL) allowances reported by colleges are a substantial part of cost of attendance,which limits federal loan and grant amounts. Without regulation or oversight, self-reportedcollege COL estimates considerably differ from local cost benchmarks, with under-reportingparticularly pervasive in for-profits. Exploiting within-university variation in levels of re-ported living costs, I show that under-reporting in for-profits lowers student aid received bystudents, increases dropout rates, and incentivizes excessive enrollment of low-income individ-uals. By having all universities follow standardized COL estimates and making the averageunder-estimating for-profit university perfectly accurate, dropout rates would decrease by15%.