THE BLAIR ECONOMICS LAB
WHERE RESEARCH EXCELLENCE MEETS MENTORING

 

ABOUT

The Blair Economics Lab (BE-Lab) is an Economics research group based at Harvard University in the Graduate School of Education. Our research in applied micro-theory focuses on supply-side issues in higher education, the effects of occupational licensing on labor market discrimination, and the link between residential segregation and educational outcomes.

 

We work collaboratively with faculty and students from Clemson University, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of Chicago, Cornell University, and Northwestern University.

2015

Year Established

6

Emerging Researchers

30

Working Papers, Publications, & Works in Progress
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HIGHER EDUCATION

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“While college enrollment has more-than doubled since 1970, elite colleges have barely increased supply, instead reducing admit rates. We show that straightforward reasons cannot explain this behavior. We propose a model where colleges compete on prestige, measured using relative selectivity or relative admit rates."

NBER WORKING PAPER

UPWARD MOBILITY
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Harvard Magazine chronicles the research and growth of The Project on Workforce at Harvard through the voices of 'STARs'—workers Skilled Through Alternative Routes. 

HARVARD MAGAZINE

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OCCUPATIONAL LICENSING

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“As a Black man, Blair brings a special perspective to the topic of professional licensing, which raises entry barriers to professions that in some cases disproportionately affect racial minorities."

NEW YORK TIMES

WHY DON'T ELITE COLLEGES EXPAND?
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"We find that when we calibrate the model with prestige on, we’re able to fit the patterns in the data, which show that admissions rates have been declining at elite institutions and also the average SAT scores have been going up both for applicants and also for matriculants."

FREAKONOMICS RADIO

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NEW FRONTIERS IN LICENSING RESEARCH
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"Because licensing laws by nature impose entry requirements, economists have long believed that licensing would reduce labor supply. Bobby Chung and I provide one of the first estimates of the impact of licensing on the supply of workers using representative national data." 

THE REPORTER (NBER)

LICENSING
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Does occupational licensing reduce the effectiveness of customer search on digital platforms? 

NBER LABOR PROGRAM MEETING

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SCHOOL SPENDING
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"Every 1 percent increase in a school district’s spending increased local house prices by .95 percent. More significantly, every 1 percent spent on teacher salaries increased house prices by 2 percent." 

HARVARD MAGAZINE

INFRASTRUCTURE
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"There's value in considering the efficacy of linking transportation infrastructure investments with places that have spacial permanence within minority communities."

NBER PANEL

DEVELOPMENT
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"We can't look at regional integration as a panacea for some fundamental, structural issues within each of our countries." 

CENTRAL BANK OF BARBADOS