[gov3009-l] Wed's Applied Stats Wkshop: K. Carman's paper available
Mon, 10 Nov 2003 19:27:49 -0500
Katherine Carman's paper
"Social Influences and the Private Provision of Public Goods: Evidence from
Charitable Contributions in the Workplace"
is now available at
This paper investigates factors that influence an individualís decision to
make voluntary contributions to a public good, focusing on the role of social
influences. Measuring social influences is challenging due to several factors:
group selection may be based on unobservable tastes, there may unobservable
shocks that affect all group members, and the behavior of all group members is
determined simultaneously. Proprietary data from the workplace-giving campaign
of a large national company are used. These data contain detailed information,
which can be used to overcome the difficulties often associated with measuring
social influences. This paper formulates the problem of measuring social
influences as one of estimating the relationship between individual behavior
and the behavior of peers by selecting appropriate instruments for group
behavior. The results suggest that individual giving behavior is affected by
social influences and that social influences are stronger within salary
quartiles and, in some situations, within genders.
See you on wednesday,
Research Workshop in Applied Statistics
Please join us this Wednesday @ noon at CBRSS,
the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences,
34 Kirkland Street, Rm 22, for two back-to-back presentations:
"Social Influences and the Private Provision of Public Goods:
Evidence from Charitable Contributions in the Workplace"
Katherine Carman is a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy
Research for 2003-2005. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Economics at
Stanford. Her primary research interests are in the fields of public
economics and health economics. Her past research has examined the role of
social influences on charitable contributions, the adequacy of life
insurance holdings, and the financial impact of changes in marital status.
"Who Gets the Earned Income Tax Credit? Impact and Incidence"
How are hourly wages affected by the Earned Income Tax Credit? Two
strategies are utilized. First, I use variation in state EITC
supplements and find that a 10 percent increase in the generosity of the
EITC is associated with a 4 percent fall in the wages of high school
dropouts and a 2 percent fall in the wages of those with only a high
school diploma. A second strategy is then implemented, based on the
insight that the impact of the EITC on wages is determined by the typical
EITC parameters in an employee's labor market. I construct a simulated
instrument for the EITC parameters in an employee's labor market, and I
find that wages respond to variation in the fraction of eligible employees
and the average EITC rate, but do not respond systematically to changes in
the marginal EITC rate.
As always, lunch will be provided.
Contact information, the current schedule, and previous presentations may be
found at the course web site: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~gov3009/
The Research Workshop in Applied Statistics is a forum for graduate
students, faculty, and visiting scholars to present and discuss work
in progress and exchange ideas. It is intended as a tour of Harvard's
statistical innovations and applications with weekly stops in
different disciplines such as economics, epidemiology, medicine,
political science, psychology, public policy, public health, sociology
and statistics. The topics of papers presented in previous years
included missing data, survey analysis, Bayesian simulation, sample
selection, and models for election and portfolio choice. Faculty and
student participants in the workshop present their current projects,
and guest speakers also give occasional presentations. The workshop
provides an excellent opportunity for informal interaction between
graduate students and faculty from a variety of disciplines. Course
credit is available for students as either an upper-level Government
or Sociology class. Lunch is provided.
If you are interested, note that all events are held at noon, in Room 22,
Center for Basic Research in Social Sciences (CBRSS, 34 Kirkland St., this is
the yellow building across the street from William James Hall).
Contact information and previous presentations may be found at the course web
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