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Essays on Economic Inequality

Arnold, Sierra (2023) Essays on Economic Inequality. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation consists of three essays that contribute to the field of applied microeconomics and economic inequality. Chapter 1 studies the impact of public transportation network changes on access to and utilization of grocery stores over drug and convenience stores. I contribute an original dataset of transportation network changes across US cities and match this with consumer behavior data. Households, especially poor households, are less likely to shop at a grocery store and more likely to shop at a drug or dollar store following the removal of public transportation options in their neighborhood. Chapter 2 addresses the impact of changes in policing strategies on incidence of police violence in US cities. Public interest in police conduct has been renewed recently due to various incidences of police brutality and use of fatal force. A community policing approach allows police and citizens to frequently interact with each other for reasons other than criminal investigation. We use a community oriented policing grant to study whether increased funding for new police officers and training in community oriented policing impacts to incidence of police violence. Our results show that the hiring and training of these new officers has no effect on overall fatal encounters by police. Chapter 3 provides a descriptive analysis of the impact of political changes on contraceptive choices among women. Over the period 2012-2021, a number of political changes have affected reproductive access both nationwide and in the three states in this study, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Relevant political changes at the federal level include the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the appointment and public judiciary hearings of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in October of 2018, and the death or Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020. Each of these instances had significant news coverage and relevance to the reproductive healthcare landscape. I use confidential patient data from Planned Parenthood locations to study changes in contraceptive use following these political changes. I find that women pursue Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) at a 4\% higher rate following the election of Donald Trump.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Arnold, Sierrasmh172@pitt.edusmh1720009-0009-8767-0018
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGiuntella, Osea
Committee MemberWalsh, Randall
Committee MemberCook, Jason
Committee MemberDuquennois, Claire
Date: 1 September 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 August 2023
Approval Date: 1 September 2023
Submission Date: 28 June 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 106
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Economics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microeconomics, Urban, Health
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2023 19:25
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2023 19:25

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