Scholarly Research

Working Papers

Criminal Justice Involvement and Well-Being in Old Age (with Jonathan Eggleston, William G. Gale, Michael Mueller-Smith, and Briana Sullivan). 

First draft: December 2021. Current draft: February 2023. (Pending disclosure review.)

Registering Returning Citizens to Vote (with Laurel Eckhouse, Eric Foster-Moore, Allison P. Harris, Hannah Walker, and Ariel White). IZA Discussion Paper No. 15121. Submitted.

First draft: September 2021. Current draft: January 2023.

Prosecutorial Reforms and Local Crime Rates (with Amanda Agan and Anna Harvey).

First draft: May 2021. Current draft: February 2022.

Media coverage: The Economist, Mother Jones

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Access to Guns in the Heat of the Moment: More Restrictive Gun Laws Mitigate the Effect of Temperature on Violence (with Jonathan Colmer). Forthcoming, Review of Economics and Statistics

Preprint version: September 2023.

Algorithmic Risk Assessment in the Hands of Humans (with Megan Stevenson). Forthcoming, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

IZA Discussion Paper No. 12853

Preprint version: June 2023.

Media coverage: Washington Post, Slate’s What Next: TBD podcast, Ipse Dixit podcast

Misdemeanor Prosecution (with Amanda Agan and Anna Harvey). 2023.  Quarterly Journal of Economics, 138(3): 1453-1505.

NBER Working Paper No. 28600, IZA Discussion Paper No. 14234.

Preprint version: August 2022.

Media coverage: Chicago Sun-Times, WBUR, Boston Globe, Commonwealth Magazine, WGBH, Radio Boston, Marginal Revolution, The Codcast (podcast from Commonwealth Magazine), Law360, National Review, Reasons to be Cheerful, Probable Causation, New York Times, The Atlantic, Mother Jones

Encouraging desistance from crime. 2023. Journal of Economic Literature, 61(2): 383-427.

Preprint version: December 2021.

Previously circulated as: “Strategies to productively reincorporate the formerly-incarcerated into communities: A review of the literature.” 2018. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11646.

Media coverage: BloombergNPR’s The Indicator, John Howard Society

The Effects of Naloxone Access Laws on Opioid Abuse, Mortality, and Crime (with Anita Mukherjee). 2022. Journal of Law & Economics, 65(2): 211-238.

Preprint version: September 2021.

Previously circulated as “The Moral Hazard of Lifesaving Innovations: Naloxone Access, Opioid Abuse, and Crime.” IZA Discussion Paper No. 11489

Response to criticism

Media coverage: The AtlanticWashington Post, The Times, Globe and Mail, Forbes, Buzzfeed, Wall Street Journal, CNN, STAT, Radio Health Journal, Hidden Brain podcast, The Rewired Soul podcast, The Economist

Women’s Safety Concerns and Academia: How Safety Concerns Can Create Opportunity Gaps (with Sophie Trawalter, Lindsay Palmer, Kelly Hoffman, and Adrienne Carter-Sowell). 2022. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 13(2): 403-415. 

Preprint version: July 2021.

The effects of DNA databases on the deterrence and detection of offenders (with Anne Sofie Tegner Anker and Rasmus Landersø). 2021. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 13(4): 194-225.

Preprint version: April 2020.

Media coverage: Washington Post, Undark, Probable Causation, AEA Research Highlights podcast, Slow Boring

Which prisoner reentry programs work? Replicating and extending analyses of three RCTs (with Chelsea Temple, David Pritchard, and Adam Roberts). 2020. International Review of Law & Economics, 62: 1-16.

Preprint version: January 2020.

Testing, Stress, and Performance: How Students Respond Physiologically to High-Stakes Testing (with Jennifer Heissel, Emma Adam, David Figlio, and Jonathan Meer). 2021. Education Finance & Policy, 16(2): 183-208.

Preprint version: November 2018.

Media coverage: Chalkbeat

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

Preprint version: August 2018.

Previously circulated as: “Does ‘ban the box’ help or hurt low-skilled workers? Statistical discrimination and employment outcomes when criminal histories are hidden”: NBER Working Paper No. 22469

NBER Digest summary

Media coverage: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Overlawyered, Vox (here and here), McClatchy News (published by several local papers), Weekly Standard, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, Pacific Standard, Fusion (here and here), The Atlantic, Michigan radio’s State of Opportunity, The Economist, NBC 29, UVA Today, Human Resource Executive Online, The Guardian, Politico (here and here), American Interest, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Governing, Washington Times, National Review, American Prospect, Bloomberg, Sacramento Bee, Boston Globe, Quartz, Stateline, WMRA, NPR’s The Indicator, Freakonomics podcast

Keep the Kids Inside? Juvenile Curfews and Urban Gun Violence (with Jillian B. Carr). 2018. Review of Economics and Statistics, 100(4): 609-618.

Preprint version: June 2017.

ShotSpotter data

Media coverage: Marginal Revolution, Vox, FiveThirtyEight, NewsweekWashington Post, Wall Street Journal, NewsRadio WINA, WBEZ Chicago, The Guardian

The Effects of DNA Databases on Crime. 2017. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 9(1): 165-201.

Preprint version: August 2016.
Online appendix

Data on state DNA database size

Media coverage: UVA Today, NBC 29, The Daily Beast,, BBC, Police Professional (subscription only), WMRA’s Virginia Insight (radio interview), Maryland v. King Supreme Court briefs (Petitioner and LA County amicus), NY Times, Boston Globe, Undark

Under the Cover of Darkness: How Ambient Light Influences Criminal Behavior (with Nicholas J. Sanders). 2015. Review of Economics and Statistics, 97(5), 1093-1103.


The data used in this paper are available on Dataverse

Media and policy coverage: Next CityNPR Morning Edition, Vox, National Geographic, Washington Post, CNN, Washington Examiner, Mother Jones, Popular Mechanics, Gizmodo, Christian Science Monitor, Significance Magazine, BBC, Report of the Special Commission on the Commonwealth’s Time Zone (Massachusetts legislature)

The Visible Hand: Race and Online Market Outcomes (with Luke C.D. Stein). 2013. Economic Journal, 123(572), F469-F492.


Media coverage: NY Times Freakonomics blog, Stanford Report, Wall Street Journal Real Time Economics blog, USA Today, Financial Times, a radio interview on Crosscurrents (KALW), Daily Mail, UVA Today, The Root, NY Times, Financial Times

Other Publications

The Counterintuitive Consequences of Sex Offender Risk Assessment at Sentencing (with Megan Stevenson). 2023. University of Toronto Law Journal, 73(1): 59-72.

Community Supervision & Public Safety (with Michael LaForest). 2022. Arnold Ventures.

Give first-time defendants a second chance: A proposal to reduce racial disparities in the criminal justice system (with Amanda Agan and Anna Harvey). 2021. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Racial Bias in the Criminal Justice System. 2021. Accepted for publication in: A Modern Guide to Economics of Crime, Paolo Buonanno, Juan Vargas, and Paolo Vanin (Eds.). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Preprint version: June 2021.

Diversity in Economics Seminars: Who Gives Invited Talks? (with Erin Hengel and Elizabeth Pancotti). 2021. AEA Papers & Proceedings, 111: 55-59.

Preprint version: January 2021.

Media coverage: New York Times

ShinyApp showing department-level data over time

A Review of Thomas Sowell’s Discrimination and Disparities. 2021. Journal of Economic Literature, 59(2): 574-589.


Preprint version: January 2020.

“Evidence-Based Policy” Should Reflect a Hierarchy of Evidence. 2019. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 38(2): 517-519.

Preprint version: December 2018.

Wrap-Around Services Don’t Improve Prisoner Reentry Outcomes. 2019. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 38(2): 508-514.

Preprint version: November 2018.

The Roadblock to Reform (with Megan T. Stevenson). 2018. American Constitution Society research report.

Moving to job opportunities? The effect of ‘Ban the Box’ on the composition of cities (with Benjamin Hansen). 2017. American Economic Review (P&P), 107(5): 556-559.

Preprint version: January 2017.

Increasing employment for individuals with criminal records. 2016. The Hamilton Project.

The geography, incidence, and underreporting of gun violence: new evidence using ShotSpotter data (with Jillian B. Carr). 2016. Brookings Research Paper.

ShotSpotter data

Media coverage: UVA Today, NewsRadio WINA, Daily Mail, Washington Post, Vox, Wisconsin Public Radio, Seattle Times, Forbes, Undark Magazine, The Atlantic

Resting Papers

How do state crime policies affect other states? The externalities of state DNA database laws 

First draft: April 2016. Current draft: December 2016.

Data on state DNA database size 

A Promising Alternative: How Making College Free Affects Teens’ Risky Behaviors (with Chloe Gibbs).

First draft: November 2014. Current draft: May 2016.

Selected Works in Progress

Review of the evidence on the Risk-Needs-Responsivity model

Network effects and invited seminar talks in economics (with Erin Hengel and Myra Mohnen).