Seminar Series

Women in science continuously face disadvantages that span across different stages of career, including limited opportunities for academic positions, shorter career longevity and lower international mobility. Previous research has suggested a trend towards more gender equality in science, but with considerable heterogeneity in pace across fields and countries. This study challenges the commonly-held view of slow but consistent progress in gender equality by assessing recent trends in representation of women in the population of published scholars using a demographic framework based on the entry, exit and migration rates of scholars, by gender.  We analyzed one of the most prominent abstract and citation databases, Scopus, which includes over 33 million publications from 1996 to 2020. We estimated that the Gender Parity Index (i.e., the number of female scholars per male scholar) increased significantly, on a global scale, until around 2011. However, since then the trend towards higher representation of women has stagnated across the large majority of countries worldwide. Our projections indicate that, if current trends persist, gender gaps are likely to increase or stabilize over the next decade. We identified three demographic determinants of observed trends. First, the rate at which women enter academia has decreased relative to men; second, the rate at which women exit academia, relative to men, has been fairly stable over time; third, even within a context of enhancement of gender parity in academia, the career length of female scholars has not notably increased.
Date
3/07/2024
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270
Energy inequity is an urgent public health issue and climate issue. Energy poverty - broadly understood as the lack of adequate energy services to provide basic needs - has a range of social and health impacts and has been linked to health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and respiratory conditions. Energy retrofits for homes can address energy poverty by reducing energy waste, reducing monthly household bills, and improving thermal comfort while, at the same time, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, energy retrofits can also worsen energy poverty if they are implemented solely to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions without considering energy inequities. This talk will focus on Dr. Tozer's recent work on how to catalyze equity-oriented energy transitions. She will present qualitative community-based and policy-engaged research on how energy retrofit programs can play a role in effectively addressing energy poverty in Canada and on using a vulnerability-based approach to address the determinants of energy poverty while working towards a livable climate.
Date
2/22/2024
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270
We estimate the effects of cash transfers on a severe measure of child welfare: maltreatment. To do so, we leverage year-to-year household variation from a universal and unconditional cash transfer, the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). Using linked individual-level administrative data on PFD payments and child maltreatment referrals, we show that an additional $1,000 to families in the first few months of a child’s life reduces the likelihood that a child is referred to Child Protective Services by age three by 2.0 percentage points, or 10 percent, on average. Effects persist through early childhood and are unlikely to be driven by birth seasonality or reporting.
Date
2/08/2024
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270
The negative impact of vacant and abandoned housing in city neighborhoods is extreme, affecting health and quality of life, promoting violence, and leading to further abandonment. One approach to addressing abandoned housing is to intervene with low-cost interventions that provide a visual sense of ownership. We tested whether a low-cost remediation of abandoned and vacant houses or a trash cleanup intervention would make a noticeable difference in the levels of nearby disrepair, disorder, and public safety. The abandoned housing remediation and trash cleanup interventions were a test of compliance with municipal ordinances. We used an experimental design to test the causal effects of the ordinances and because the scale of abandonment was too large to provide treatment to all abandoned houses in the city. We used systematic social observation methods to rate changes in disrepair, disorder, and litter at housing sites and on the city blocks they were located and police-reported data on gun violence and illegal substance use. Our experimental design allowed us to see whether observed disrepair, disorder, and public safety improved after working windows and doors were installed on abandoned houses compared with a trash cleanup around properties or a no-intervention control condition. Our results showed significant changes in observed disrepair, disorder, and gun violence and illustrate the benefits of experimental evaluations of place-based changes to the built environment.
Date
1/25/2024
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270
The increase in public insurance eligibility caused by the Affordable Care Act (ACA ) Medicaid expansions may have had spillover effects to other public assistance programs. We explore the impact of the ACA on the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Our research design uses variation in Medicaid eligibility that occurs on either side of state borders: we examine county-level administrative measures of EITC and SNAP participation in contiguous county pairs that cross state lines and individual data on program participation from the American Community Survey (ACS) in contiguous sub-state geographic units. This approach allows us to focus narrowly on differences arising from the ACA Medicaid expansion choice, implicitly controlling for local economic trends that could affect safety net participation. Our results suggest that the Medicaid expansion increased participation in SNAP and TANF, and possibly in the EITC. The ACS analysis suggests that safety net impacts are mainly due to participation conditional on eligibility rather than from eligibility changes stemming from labor supply responses. It appears that ACA Medicaid eligibility reduced the marginal cost of applying in SNAP, particularly facilitating enrollment in places with low 2013 SNAP take-up rates. Our results demonstrate the potential for spillovers across safety net programs.
Date
1/18/2024
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270
This paper revisits the cyclical nature of births and infant health and investigates to what extent the relationship between aggregate labor market conditions and birth outcomes is mitigated by unemployment insurance (UI). We introduce a novel empirical test of standard neoclassical models of fertility that directly tests the prediction of opposite-signed income and intertemporal substitution effects of business cycles by examining the interaction of the aggregate unemployment rate with a measure of potential income replacement from UI. Our results show that as UI benefit generosity reaches 100 percent income replacement, there is no effect of the unemployment rate on births. This implies that the well-documented cyclical nature of births is about access to liquidity. We also provide novel evidence that infant health is countercyclical based on timing of conception, but procyclical based on time in utero. The negative relationship between the in utero aggregate unemployment rate and infant health also disappears when potential UI replacement rates reach 100 percent. Our results imply that the social insurance provided by UI has a pro-natalist effect and improves the health and economic well-being of the next generation.
Date
11/02/2023
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270
Dementia risk appears to be greater in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods, but the reasons why remain unclear. Dr. Reuben investigates social determinants of healthy brain development and aging, focusing on modifiable environmental factors such as air and water quality, natural amenities, and features of the built environment. This talk will focus on Dr. Reuben's recent work investigating neighborhood-based disparities in dementia risk, which seem to result from the geographic aggregation of dementia risk factors (such as poor sleep, diet, and mental health) decades before clinical symptoms typically emerge. Hypotheses about how neighborhoods "get under the skin" will be discussed, along with ideas about how residential neighborhoods may offer potentially novel, scalable opportunities for preventing hard to treat diseases of the aging brain.
Date
10/26/2023
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270
I have a $1 billion wager on whether by the year 2150 at least one person will have lived to the age of 150 years. In the more than twenty years since I made the wager, no one has approached the longevity record of 122 years set by Jeanne Calment back in 1997. Yet, I remain optimistic about my chances of winning. This talk will describe four emerging biomedical breakthroughs that support my optimism. There are also reasons to be cautious in one's optimism, mainly having to do with flaws in the way that basic biological breakthroughs are translated to the clinic and the community. My talk will not only describe these emerging breakthroughs but will also elaborate on flaws in our current translational approaches and how to overcome those flaws.
Date
10/19/2023
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270
We investigate whether racial disparities in health outcomes worsen as hospitals reach capacity, when rationing on the basis of provider and system biases may become more salient. Using time-stamped electronic health records from two large hospitals, we find that in-hospital mortality increased substantially for Black patients when hospitals approached capacity, but not for White patients. Strain-related increases in racial mortality gaps largest for high-risk patients. We provide evidence of rationing on the basis of wait times, documenting a startling fact: sicker Black patients waited longer for care than healthier White patients at all capacity levels.
Date
10/12/2023
Time
12:00pm - 1:15pm
Venue
Gross Hall 270