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Charitable Giving Responses to Education Budgets, with Jonathan Meer. National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 29331.  [R&R]

Do changes in government spending affect voluntary contributions to those recipients? We examine how changes in K-12 education budgets impact donations to teachers using data from, an online crowdfunding platform for public school teachers to
raise money for their classrooms. Using a district-year panel and instruments to address the endogeneity of budgets, we find evidence for crowd-out of private giving, though the magnitudes are fairly small in this setting and do not offset a large proportion of a budget
change. These results are driven by entirely teachers' posting of requests, illustrating the importance of considering the demand side of the charitable giving market. [Latest Version]


The Effect of Teacher Strikes on Support for Schools

Opinion polls suggest that the public supports teacher strikes. I examine the impact of teacher strikes on voluntary financial support for schools as a revealed-preference measure of support. I use data from, an online crowdfunding platform for school teachers to fund their classroom projects, combined with teacher strikes' timing and locations across the United States. Variation in the timing of the strikes across school districts does not affect overall private contributions. I do not find any changes in fundraising activities
around the strikes.

How Do Late Donors Learn from Early Donors in Crowdfunding? (with Piruz Saboury)

The application of crowdfunding to philanthropy has not yet been studied extensively. In this paper, we focus on the sequential nature of giving on crowdfunding platforms. On the one hand, this feature exacerbates late donors' incentives to free-ride on early donors'
contributions. On the other hand, sequential giving provides an opportunity for leadership-giving by early donors. Economic theory states that lead donors can signal their information about the quality of the public good to downstream donors leading to a positive response to
early donations by downstream donors. Moreover, late donors' conditional cooperation due to moral obligation, reciprocity, social pressure, social norm-compliance, inequality aversion, or self-image concerns can also induce a similar positive response. To understand the impact
of leadership and donor behavior in the context of crowdfunding, we use data from a prominent crowdfunding platform to estimate early donations' effect on later donations to verify which one of these forces is the main driver of donor behavior in crowdfunding platforms. Our findings mainly support the dominance of free-riding.


Improving Visitor Experience through Analysis of Visitor Foot Traffic and Donations (with Tatiana Kornienko)

Role of Refugees and Low-Skilled Immigrants in the Labor Market

Can Nonprofits Help Buffer the Negative Impacts of Poverty?

The Effect of Teacher Strikes on District Budgets

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