Trachtenberg School Research Seminar Series Spring 2019

The Trachtenberg School’s Research Seminar Series for spring 2019 is open to PhD students and faculty.

  • Each presentation will be held in MPA building conference room 601Z.
  • All are on Wednesdays, except Dr. Travis St. Clair’s, which is on a Monday.
  • Two presentations are only a week apart (3/20 & 3/27) due to spring breaks and the travel schedules of the presenters.
Monday, January 28, 12-1pm
Dr. Travis St. Clair, NYU Wagner 

The literature on accounting quality has long held that high quality accounting information reduces information asymmetries between borrowers and lenders, however prior work suggests that there may be substantial heterogeneity in the effects. Dr. St. Clair explores this question further in the context of municipal borrowers. In 1999, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) introduced a new reporting model for state and local governments, requiring governments for the first time to report on a government-wide full accrual basis. Dr. St. Clair exploits the staggered phase-in of the new reporting model to examine its impact on the cost and use of municipal debt. While reporting on a full-accrual basis appears to have had a slightly beneficial effect for the average government borrower regression discontinuity results show that for larger governments, the use of debt actually decreased while the cost of debt rose. To explain these results, Dr. St. Clair draws on findings from the credit ratings literature.  

Wednesday, March 20, 12-1pm
Dr. Ingrid Gould Ellen, NYU Wagner 
Gentrification (details TBD) 
Wednesday, March 27, 12-1pm
Dr. Angela Eikenberry, U. Nebraska, Omaha School of PA 
New Research on Giving Circles in the U.S. 
Giving circles have been described as a “do it yourself” philanthropic vehicle, in which members of all ages, levels of wealth, and varying backgrounds, pool donations and decide together where these are granted. As a tool to seemingly democratize, expand, and diversify philanthropy, giving circles are among the most popular strategies for promoting giving today. While the field has grown considerably, a decade has passed since the last systematic research on U.S. giving circles. Dr. Eikenberry’s new research gathers data through multiple methods, including surveys with giving circle leaders and members, to examine the landscape of giving circles in the U.S. and their impact on philanthropy. 
Wednesday, April 10, 12-1pm
Wednesday, April 24, 12-1pm 
Dr. Omari Swinton, Howard U. 
Dr. Swinton examines the value added of attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities versus non-Historically Black Colleges and Universities 
(HBCUs). Many studies have tried to estimate the marginal effect of attending HBCUs and the results have been mixed. Generally, it is seen as irrational for a student to choose a HBCU over most other institutions. Despite this they account for producing a large share of Black baccalaureate degrees. For the majority of students that attend HBCUs, this education provides them with an opportunity and upward mobility. Dr. Swinton’s research will examine the importance of HBCUs in increasing educational attainment for students in STEM related disciplines. Dr. Swinton uses a new approach that builds on the work of Caroline Hoxby, which requires building better choice sets and a matched data set from the College Board and National Student Clearinghouses (NSC).