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dc.contributor.advisorMas, Alexandre-
dc.contributor.authorGoncalves, Felipe-
dc.contributor.otherEconomics Department-
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation consists of four chapters in public economics. The first three study questions in policing and crime, and the final chapter studies the effect of K-12 school construction on student and district outcomes. A theme throughout these four chapters is using empirical analysis to evaluate various public policies. The first chapter, co-authored with Steve Mello, estimates the degree to which individual police officers practice racial discrimination. Using a bunching estimation design and data from the Florida Highway Patrol, we show that minorities are less likely to receive a reduced charge on their speeding tickets than white drivers. We further find that 40\% of officers explain the entirety of the aggregate discrimination. Using our estimates of officer-level discrimination, we explore various policies aimed at mitigating the aggregate disparity. The second chapter, also co-authored with Steve Mello, estimates the causal effect of harsher speeding punishments on future driving behavior of cited drivers. Our empirical design instruments for a driver's punishment using the stopping officer's average propensity to give his drivers a discounted ticket. Compared with those receiving a higher fine, drivers receiving the lenient fine are over 25\% more likely to receive an additional speeding ticket and about 14\% more likely to be involved in a car accident in the following year. The third chapter explores whether police unions affect the salaries, employment, and misconduct of officers. I exploit the rollout of unionization in Florida police departments from 1975 to the present and compare elections where unions won and failed. While unionization leads to no change in department size, earnings of officers increase after unionization. Contrary to popular opinion, unionization has no long-run effect on misconduct. The fourth chapter studies an ongoing state-subsidized program of rebuilding Ohio' s K-12 public schools and investigates the effect of improved facility quality on student and school district outcomes. The completion of a project increases public school enrollment and district property values. Test scores do not measurably improve upon completion and suffer significant reductions during construction. I therefore find little evidence that the program reduced disparities in student outcomes.-
dc.publisherPrinceton, NJ : Princeton University-
dc.relation.isformatofThe Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: <a href=> </a>-
dc.subjectLabor Economics-
dc.subjectPolicing and Crime-
dc.subjectPublic Economics-
dc.titleEssays in Public Economics-
dc.typeAcademic dissertations (Ph.D.)-
Appears in Collections:Economics

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