"Statehouses, Schoolhouses, and the Impact of Hispanic Immigrant Inflows on Public Education Finance"
(Presented at: The Forum on the Future of Public Education (University of Illinois), NTA, ABFM, AEFP, MCRSA.)
This paper investigates how Hispanic immigrant inflows affect K-12 public education finance in the US. I first document the long-run trend of mean household income and average number of children per household for Hispanic immigrant households relative to native households. An accounting calculation suggests that the tax price of per-pupil spending increases by 7% from 1970 to 2010 due to Hispanic immigrant inflows. Using the historical pattern of immigrant settlements as an exogenous variation, I then quantify the causal impact of immigrant inflows on public education spending: an increase of ten percentage points in the faction of Hispanic immigrant children leads to a decrease in per-pupil current spending by 13%, which is equivalent to about 1300 dollars per student evaluated at the 2010 mean spending level. In addition, I find that Hispanic immigrant inflows largely reduce the demand for redistribution on education spending from the state government. A ten-percentage point increase in Hispanic immigrant children would cause per-pupil state revenue to decrease by 20%.
"The Impact of the SAVE Program on Immigrants' Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program," 2015.
(Presented at: National Tax Association Annual Conference)
This paper studies how the adoption of the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement (SAVE) program affects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation for immigrant adults and US-born children living with immigrant household heads. Comparing before and after the adoption of the SAVE program, I find that immigrant adults without children have an insignificant reduction in SNAP participation following the adoption of the SAVE program. In contrast, the SAVE adoption has a sizable negative impact on SNAP participation of US-born children headed by immigrants, both for the participation rate (a 12% decrease) and the total number of participants (an 8% decrease) in a household. The results suggest that SAVE not only is ineffective in deterring unqualified immigrant applicants but also reduces take-up among qualified US-born children.
"Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of State-level Anti-Illegal Immigration Legislation"
(Presented at: MPSA, SEA, Public Choice Society, Public Economic Theory.)
There has been a considerable increase in state-level anti-immigrant legislation in the past decade. This paper studies the driving forces of state anti-immigrant legislation passed since 2005, with a focus on a district's demographic structure. To accomplish this, I compile a novel dataset of legislative district level characteristics and match it with votes on individual bills from each state's house of representatives and senate. I show that districts with more established immigrant populations and a higher fraction of African Americans tend to vote against anti-immigrant legislation. In contrast to the previous findings, however, districts with a large fraction of Hispanic population tend to vote for anti-immigrant legislation. Further analysis suggests this is likely due to the fact that the size of Hispanic population in new immigrant states is not large enough to form a political power, while legislators perceive Hispanics as undocumented immigrants.
Works in Progress:
"The Impact of Low-Skilled Immigrant Adults on Educational Attainment of American Youth"
Using census data from 1970 to 2000 at the consistently defined metropolitan level, this paper examines the impact of low-skilled immigrant adults on the high school drop-out rate of American youth. I find that due to increased job market competition from substitutable labor, the inflows of low-skilled immigrant adults reduce the drop-out rate of American youth. Specifically, an increase of one percentage point in the fraction of low-skilled immigrant adults in the population leads to a decrease in drop-out rate of American youth by 0.8%. I show that the presence of low-skilled immigrant adults decreases labor market participation of high school aged youth both for full time and part time jobs. Further analysis demonstrates that the drop-out rate decrease that is induced by immigrant inflows is larger among youth from bottom family income quantiles. The low-skilled immigrant inflows after 1970 appear to explain some of the convergence in drop-out rates among different family income classes.