Tara Watson

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" Chilling effects " are a popular explanation for low program take-up rates among immigrants, but the effects of an icy policy climate are inherently hard to measure. This paper finds robust evidence that heightened Federal immigration enforcement reduces Medicaid participation among children of non-citizens, even when children are themselves citizens. The(More)
Alcohol policies have potentially far-reaching impacts on risky sexual behavior, prenatal health behaviors, and subsequent outcomes for infants. After finding initial evidence in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) that changes in the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) are related to prenatal drinking, we examine whether the drinking age(More)
This paper investigates the effect of relative income on marriage. Accounting flexibly for absolute income, the ratio between a man's income and a local reference group median is a strong predictor of marital status, but only for low-income men. Relative income affects marriage even among those living with a partner. A ten percent higher reference group(More)
The federal government delivers substantial college aid through the tax code, after introducing education tax credits in 1998 and a tuition deduction in 2002. The design of the Lifetime Learning tax credit and the tuition deduction may make them particularly useful to older students. This paper investigates how these provisions have affected college(More)
It has long been recognized that average wages vary strikingly across regions and urban areas, in part due to differences in local amenities and fiscal policies. However, analogous differences in wage dispersion remain relatively unexplored. We develop a model suggesting that, after accounting for individual characteristics, wage dispersion across income(More)
Are highly educated workers better at locating in areas with high labor demand? To answer this question, I use three decades of U.S. Census data to estimate a McFadden-style model of residential location choice. I test for education differentials in the likelihood that young workers reside in states experiencing positive labor demand shocks at the time(More)
Over the past 20 years, the Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI), which provides federally funded income support for disabled individuals, has become one of the most important means‐tested cash aid programs in the United States. However, little research has examined the determinants of growth in SSI caseloads across states and over time. In this paper(More)
Mass adult male circumcision campaigns for HIV prevention are underway across much of Sub-Saharan Africa. However, concern remains about risk compensation associated with the reduction in the probability of HIV transmission per risky act. This paper examines the behavioral response to male circumcision in Kisumu, Kenya. Contrary to the presumption of risk(More)
There has been substantial interest in whether welfare reform affected the ability of women, particularly single mothers, to obtain health insurance coverage. We examine the assumptions used in most of the existing literature on welfare reform and health insurance for women—that either married mothers or single women without children can act as a valid(More)
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