Urban Economics Association Student Prize Session (2018)
(New draft coming soon)
Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of the international student enrollment boom that occurred in the last decade on local housing markets. We construct a unique sample of American college towns that describes rarely studied local markets. These cities concentrate one third of the U.S. 4-year college enrollment and are characterized by high student representation of housing demand and geographic isolation. Using a modified shift-share 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% on average relative to the housing boom peak. By exploiting highly stylized facts of housing markets in college towns, we show how within-city dynamics enabled international inflows to contribute to the replacement of single-family homes near campus and expansion of luxury rentals.
"Beyond tuition: The impact of cost of living on students"
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 studies how living expenses affect the human capital accumulation of US college students. Cost of living (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-reported college COL estimates considerably differ from local cost benchmarks, with under-reporting particularly pervasive in 4-year for-profits. Exploiting within-university variation in levels of reported living costs, I show that under-reporting in 4-year for-profits increases dropout rates and enrollment, and lowers student aid received by students. By having all universities follow standardized COL estimates and making the average under-estimating 4 year for-profit university perfectly accurate, dropout rates would decrease by 15%.