Reductions in wage disparities across race and gender have stagnated in the past 20 years. Recent awareness of these inequalities has led to demands for policy interventions to reduce pay gaps. The most recent legislation intended to improve wage equality prohibits employers from asking about previously earned salaries. The intent of this legislation is to redress persistent pay inequalities. Salary history bans (SHBs) have been implemented in varying degrees (public and private) in multiple cities and states. I use a synthetic control approach to measure the impact of a statewide SHB in California. After the passing of a statewide SHB, statewide earnings ratios increase from 0.77 (where they have been stagnant for the last 11 years) to 0.82. More over I find these results are driven by an improvement of the earnings ratio in male-dominated industries.

Criminal involvement has been shown to peak at a young age. While Becker's theory of the rational criminal is often referenced as a justification for increasing punishments and policing, his model also suggests that improving labor market options reduces criminality. For this reason, I estimate the impact of youth labor market opportunities on arrest rates. I instrument for shocks in local employment demand with national industry trends using a shift share approach. My estimates suggest that a 1 percent increase in labor market opportunities leads to a 1.08 percent decrease in arrests for 14-18-year-olds.

Works In Progress

Suicide Tuesday: The Effects of Synthetic Drug Use on Suicidality