Dionissi Aliprantis |

Research Economist


Dionissi Aliprantis, Research Economist

Dionissi Aliprantis is a research economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He is primarily interested in applied econometrics, labor and urban economics, and education. His current work investigates neighborhood effects on education and labor market outcomes.

Dionissi completed his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in May 2010. He earned his BS in mathematics and BA in economics and Spanish at Indiana University.

  • Fed Publications
  • Other Publications
Title Date Publication Author(s) Type

 

2014-06 ; Kyle Fee; Nelson Oliver; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Why has average income grown in some poor neighborhoods over the past 30 years and not in others? We explore that question and find that low-income neighborhoods that experienced large improvements in income over the past three decades tended to be located in large, densely populated metro areas that grew in income and population. Residential sorting—changes in population and demographics within neighborhoods—could help to explain this relationship.

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August, 2013 ; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper is concerned with understanding how causal effects can be identified in past data and then used to predict the future in light of the problem of context, or the fact that treatment always influences the outcome variable in combination with covariates. Structuralist and experimentalist views of econometric methodology can be reconciled by adopting notation capable of distinguishing between effects independent of and dependent on context, or direct and net effects. By showing that identification of direct and net effects imposes distinct assumptions on selection into covariates (i.e., exclusion restrictions) and explicitly constructing predictions based on past effects, the paper is able to characterize the tradeoff researchers face. Relative to direct effects, net effects can be identified in the past from more general data-generating processes (DGPs), but they can predict the future of less general DGPs. Predicting the future with either type of effect requires knowledge of direct effects. To highlight implications for applied work, I discuss why Local Average Treatment Effects and Marginal Treatment Effects of educational attainment are net effects and are therefore difficult to interpret, even when identified with a perfectly randomized treatment.

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February, 2013 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland,working paper no. 13-02 ; Working Papers
Abstract: Black males in the United States are exposed to tremendous violence at young ages: In the NLSY97 26 percent report seeing someone shot by age 12, and 43 percent by age 18. This paper studies how this exposure to violence and its associated social isolation affect education and labor market outcomes. I use Elijah Anderson's ethnographic research on the ”code of the streett“ to guide the specification of a model of human capital accumulation that includes street capital, the skills and knowledge useful for providing personal security in neighborhoods where it is not provided by state institutions. The model is estimated assuming either selection on observables or dynamic selection with permanent unobserved heterogeneity. Counterfactuals from these estimated models indicate that exposure to violence has large effects, decreasing the high school graduation rate between 6.1 and 10.5 percentage points (20 and 35 percent of the high school dropout rate) and hours worked between 3.0 and 4.0 hours per week (0.15 and 0.19 σ).

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2013-01 ; Kyle Fee; Nelson Oliver; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Not only has poverty recently increased in the United States, it has also become more concentrated. This Commentary documents changes in the concentration of poverty in metropolitan areas over the last decade. The analysis shows that the concentration of poverty tends to be highest in northern cities, and that wherever overall poverty or unemployment rates went up the most over the course of the decade, the concentration of poverty tended to increase there as well.

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November, 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 12-33 ; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper shows that the results of the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) housing mobility experiment are much less informative about neighborhood effects than currently interpreted in the literature. I formally state the assumptions necessary for using the random assignment of vouchers in a housing mobility program as an instrument to identify neighborhood effects. I show that these assumptions are also imposed in the literature using Intent-to-Treat (ITT) and Treatment-on-the-Treated (TOT) effects from moving with a voucher assigned through MTO to learn about neighborhood effects. By making them implicit, the program effects approach adopts identifying assumptions that are difficult to defend. Once these assumptions are made explicit and discussed in terms of both theoretical implications and empirical evidence, it is clear that ITT and TOT effects from MTO should not be used to draw conclusions about neighborhood effects. Focusing attention on directly identifying neighborhood effects, empirical evidence is presented that MTO only induced moves from one low-quality neighborhood to another, and therefore can only be used to identify a very limited set of neighborhood effects.

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May, 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 12-12R ; Daniel R Carroll; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper uses an overlapping-generations dynamic general equilibrium model of residential sorting and intergenerational human capital accumulation to investigate the effects of neighborhood externalities. In the model, households choose where to live and how much to invest toward the production of their child's human capital. The return on parents' investment is determined in part by the child's ability and in part by an externality from the average human capital in their neighborhood. We use the model to test a prominent hypothesis about the concentration of poverty within racially-segregated neighborhoods (Wilson 1987). We first impose segregation on a model with two neighborhoods and match the model steady state to income and housing data from Chicago in 1960. Next, we lift the restriction on moving and compute the new steady state and corresponding transition path. The transition implied by the model qualitatively supports Wilson's hypothesis: high-income residents of the low average human capital neighborhood move out, reducing the returns to investment in their old neighborhood. Sorting decreases citywide human capital and produces congestion in the high-income neighborhood, increasing the average cost of housing. On net, average welfare decreases by 3.0 percent of presorting steady state consumption, and 0.01 percent of households starting in the low-income neighborhood receive positive welfare.

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March, 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 12-08 ; Francisca G-C Richter; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper estimates Marginal Treatment Effects (MTEs) of neighborhood quality from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) housing mobility experiment in a model with multiple treatment levels. We propose and implement a new identification strategy that exploits the identification of the idiosyncratic component of an ordered choice model. Due to the limited changes in neighborhood quality induced by MTO, we only estimate MTEs of moving from the first to second decile of the national distribution of neighborhood quality. These MTEs are heterogeneous over observable characteristics: Labor market outcomes were affected most positively for individuals at the sites in which larger changes in neighborhood quality were induced by MTO. Estimated MTEs are also heterogeneous over unobservables, which we consider evidence in favor of selection occurring in a model with essential heterogeneity. Although there is not enough structure in our model to clearly interpret MTE heterogeneity, we discuss possible reasons for the surprising result that effects are best for those with characteristics that make them less likely to move without the program.

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October 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 12-01R ; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper evaluates a new technology for providing water. The technology, developed by Haiti Outreach (HO), is distinguished by a program training communities to manage wells. The effects of training are identified by comparing HO?s wells with wells refurbished by HO but subsequently managed under the status quo. There are large differences in functionality after only one year (8.7 percentage points). For policymakers choosing between standard and community-based interventions, I quantify the tradeoff between equity (sporadically providing water to all) and efficiency (consistently providing water to most). I interpret the estimated tradeoff to strongly favor community-based interventions.

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2011-26 ; Mary Zenker; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Although the U.S. poverty rate was the same in 2000 as it was in 1970, the geographic distribution of the poor has become more concentrated. A higher concentration of poor in poor neighborhoods is a concern because it may mean the poor are exposed to fewer opportunities that affect their outcomes in life, like employment and income. We show where and how poverty has become more concentrated in the United States, and who is most likely to be affected. Online appendix.

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October, 2011 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland working paper no. wp11-26 ; Working Papers
Abstract: Kindergarten-entrance-age effects are difficult to identify due to the nonrandom allocation of entrance-age and simultaneous relative-age effects. This paper presents evidence that instrumental variable frameworks do not identify age effects for the youngest children of a cohort using the results of statistical tests for essential heterogeneity in initial enrollment decisions. Restricting attention to the oldest children in a cohort yields a sample with quasirandom variation in entrance and relative ages. This variation is used to identify the parameters of education production functions in which both entrance and relative ages are inputs for achievement. Estimates of entrance-age parameters from the ECLS-K data set are positive, large, and persist until the spring of third grade. Relative-age parameters are smaller, tend to be negative, and fade-out for math achievement by third grade. For the average child in our sample these estimates imply that both an earlier entrance cutoff date and an earlier birthdate will increase achievement if the child remains eligible. There is extreme heterogeneity in effects by gender and home environment, and these results are likely to be the most relevant for policy.

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2011-21 ; Timothy Dunne; Kyle Fee; Economic Commentary
Abstract: Workers with more education typically earn more than those with less education, and the difference has been growing in recent decades. Not surprisingly, the percentage of the population going after and getting a college degree has been rising as well. Since the late 1970s, though, the increase in college attainment has stalled for men and gathered steam for women. Among college-age individuals, more women now graduate than men. Changes in labor market incentives appear to explain the increased investment in education made by women. But men's investments in education have been much less responsive to the same incentives.

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Assessing the Evidence on Neighborhood Effects from Moving to Opportunity

 

September, 2011 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 11-22R ; Working Papers
Abstract:

This paper has been substantially revised. For the new version see WP no. 12-33 (PDF)].


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January, 2011 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, working paper no. 11-01 ; Working Papers
Abstract: This paper has been updated and expanded. For the new version, see WP 11-22.

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December, 2010 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland working paper, no. 10-22R ; Daniel Hartley; Working Papers
Abstract:

This paper estimates the effect that the closure and demolition of roughly 20,000 units of geographically concentrated high-rise public housing had on crime in Chicago. We estimate local effects of closures on crime in the neighborhoods where high-rises stood and in proximate neighborhoods. We also estimate the impact that households displaced from high-rises had on crime in the neighborhoods to which they moved and neighborhoods close to those. Overall, reductions in violent crime in and near the areas where high-rises were demolished greatly outweighed increases in violent crime associated with the arrival of displaced residents in new neighborhoods.

Note: An online appendix that accompanies this paper is available.

Note: This paper was originally posted in December 2010 under a different title: “Blowing It Up and Knocking It Down: The Effect of Demolishing High-Concentration Public Housing on Crime.” and is available here.


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September, 2010 Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland working paper, no. 10-12 ; Working Papers
Abstract: A wide literature uses date of birth as an instrument to study the causal effects of educational attainment. This paper shows how parents delaying their children’s initial enrollment in kindergarten, a practice known as redshirting, can make estimates obtained through this identification framework all but impossible to interpret. A latent index model is used to illustrate how the monotonicity assumption in this framework is violated if redshirting decisions are made in a setting of essential heterogeneity. Empirical evidence is presented from the ECLS-K data set that favors this scenario; redshirting is common and heterogeneity in the treatment effect of educational attainment is likely a factor in parents’ redshirting decisions.

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Title Date Publication Author(s) Type
Redshirting, Compulsory Schooling Laws, and Educational Attainment

 

April, 2012 Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, vol. 37, pp. 316-338. ; Journal Article
Abstract: A wide literature uses date of birth as an instrument to study the causal effects of educational attainment. This paper shows how parents delaying their children's initial enrollment in kindergarten, a practice known as redshirting, can make estimates obtained through this identification framework all but impossible to interpret. A latent index model is used to illustrate how the monotonicity assumption in this framework is violated if redshirting decisions are made in a setting of essential heterogeneity. Empirical evidence is presented from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K) data set that favors this scenario; redshirting is common and heterogeneity in the treatment effect of educational attainment is likely a factor in parents' redshirting decisions.

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