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David Simon

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut
Chapter Member: Connecticut SSN

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About David

Simon's research focuses on: economics of children and families, Intergenerational Transfer of Human Capital, and Applied Microeconomics. Overarching themes includes how policy can influence parental behavior, family well being, and child skill acquisition. More recent work focuses on policy based solutions to social problems such as child abuse and domestic violence.

In the News

David Simon quoted on minimum wage hikes meaning healthier babies by Alexia Fernández Campbell, "Business" The Atlantic, October 12, 2021.
David Simon quoted on unemployment, welfare, food stamps and other social programs replacing just 19% of one’s prior wages in the months after job loss by Greg Iacurci, "Personal Finance" CNPC, December 19, 2020.
"Job Loss and the Safety Net," David Simon (with Chloe East), Employment, Econo Fact, December 2, 2020.
David Simon quoted on new research showing harm caused by microscopic particles, especially to the brains of children by Noah Smith, "Opinion" Bloomberg.com, November 22, 2019.
David Simon quoted on medical-marijuana leading to baby boomlet by Michael S. Derby, "Economy" The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2018.
David Simon quoted on how EITC improves infant health outcomes by Patrick Brennan, "Study: EITC Improves Infant Health Outcomes" National Review, July 11, 2012.

Publications

"Sex, Marijuana and Baby Booms" (with MicheleBaggio and Alberto Chongs). Journal of Health Economics 70 (2020).

Studies the behavioral changes caused by marijuana use on sexual activity, contraception, and birth counts by applying a differences-in-differences approach that exploits the variation in timing of the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) among states. Finds that MMLs cause an increase in sexual activity, a reduction in contraceptive use conditional on having sex, and an increase in number of births.

"Body Weight and Internet Access: Evidence From the Rollout of Broadband Providers" (with Michael DiNardi and Melanie Guildi). Journal of Population Economics 32 (2019): 877-913.

Uses the rollout of broadband Internet providers as a plausibly exogenous source of variation in Internet access to identify the reduced form effect of Internet use on body weight.  Shows that greater broadband coverage increases the body weight of white women and has both positive and negative effects on modifiable adult health behaviors including exercise, smoking, and drinking.

"Does Pollution Drive Achievement? The Effect of Traffic Pollution on Academic Performance" National Bureau of Economic Research (2019).

Examines the effect of school traffic pollution on student outcomes by leveraging variation in wind patterns for schools the same distance from major highways.  Mentions that students who move from an elementary/middle school that feeds into a “downwind” middle/high school in the same zip code experience decreases in test scores, more behavioral incidents, and more absences.

"The Effects of Aggregate and Gender-Specific Labor Demand Shocks on Child Health" (with Marianne Page and Jessamyn Schaller). The Journal of Human Resources 56, no. 3 (2017).

Estimates the relationship between labor market opportunities and child health using demand-induced changes in mothers’ and fathers’ employment opportunities. Shows improvements in women’s employment opportunities are consistently associated with worse child health, while better labor market conditions for men have positive effects.  Mentions how patterns suggest that both income and time inputs matter for child health.

"The Impact of Stock Market Fluctuations on the Mental and Physical Wellbeing of Children" Economic Inquiry 56, no. 2 (2017): 1007-1027.

Extends this literature by documenting impacts of stock market fluctuations on a range of child outcomes; including effects on both mental and physical health. Shows a negative effect of a market crash on hospitalizations, child reported health status, sick days from school, and an aggregate health index measure.

"Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health" (with Hilary Hoynes and Doug Miller). American Economic Journal; Economic Policy 7, no. 1 (2015): 172-211.

Uses quasi-experimental variation from federal tax reform to evaluate the effect of the EITC on infant health outcomes. Finds that the EITC reduces the incidence of low birth weight and increases mean birth weight: a $1,000 treatment-on-the-treated leads to a 2 to 3 percent decline in low birth weight. Suggests that the candidate mechanisms include more prenatal care and less negative health behaviors (smoking).