Kelsey Pukelis


Work in progress

Projects I've contributed to

Other relevant experience

Work in progress

Employed in a SNAP? The Impact of Work Requirements on Program Participation and Labor Supply

with Colin Gray, Adam Leive, Elena Prager, and Mary Zaki

Abstract: Work requirements are common in U.S. safety net programs. Evidence remains limited, however, on the extent to which work requirements increase economic self-sufficiency or screen out vulnerable individuals. We use linked administrative data on food stamps (SNAP) and earnings to study the effects of work requirements on program participation and labor market outcomes. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that work requirements reduce retention of existing program beneficiaries by 38 percent and reduce overall SNAP participation by 52 percent. Very low-income and homeless adults are disproportionately screened out. We fail to find evidence of improvements in economic self-sufficiency among the majority of the sample. Our estimates statistically rule out average employment increases of more than 2 percentage points. We do find evidence of increased earnings along a small portion of the earnings distribution near a key eligibility threshold. Finally, we provide conditions under which SNAP work requirements are efficient with respect to the marginal value of public funds.

Projects I've contributed to

Algorithmic Risk Assessment Tools in the Hands of Humans (by Jennifer Doleac and Megan Stevenson). IZA Discussion Paper No. 12853. Current draft

My role: Performed background research on the use of risk assessments in sentencing.

Encouraging desistance from crime (by Jennifer Doleac). Revise & resubmit, Journal of Economic Literature. Current draft

My role: Collected and organized literature.

The unintended consequences of “ban the box”: Statistical discrimination and employment outcomes when criminal histories are hidden (by Jennifer Doleac and Benjamin Hansen). 2020. Journal of Labor Economics, 38(2): 321-374.

My role: Gathered and built CPS (Current Population Survey) panel data and ACS (American Community Survey) data for revision.

The Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime (by Jennifer Doleac and Anita Mukherjee). IZA Discussion Paper No. 11489. Current draft

My role: Compiled Google Trends data and peformed background research on Naloxone access laws.

Wage insurance for Displaced Workers (by Brian Kovak, Benjamin Hyman, and Adam Leive) NSF project page

My role: Wrote the Stata code to process administrative data on wage insurance program records and implemented preliminary regression discontinuity analyses.

Has Mortality Risen Disproportionately For the Least Educated? (by Adam Leive and Christopher Ruhm)

My role: Managed and organized the project's code base in a GitHub repository, which includes data management, analysis, and visualization tasks.

Other relevant experience

During the summer of 2020, I organized an econometrics reading group for Harvard PhD students with the guidance of Professors Isaiah Andrews and Elie Tamer. Other graduate students helped select and present papers. See this link for applied and theory schedules.

I was a teaching assistant for a Master of Public Policy course on Impact Evaluation taught by Professor Sally Hudson at the University of Virginia's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. The course covered econometric approaches to policy analysis, including experiments, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, and panel data methods. Assignments required students to replicate analyses from policy-relevant economics journal articles.