Aina Krupinski Puig
PhD Candidate, Economics
San Francisco Federal Reserve Board's essay contest called for papers studying economic impacts of gender and racial inequalities. As a winner, Aina's paper will be published in the Federal Reserve Board's Economic Letter and will have the opportunity to participate in a 6-week summer research program.
Aina's paper focused on the impact of monetary policy, through interest rates, on spending patterns among types of US households — those with mortgages, those with women versus men as head of household, and those headed by White versus Black people. By building on her interest in macroeconomic inequality topics with direct policy implications, she intended (and continues to intend) to fill a gap in the literature, adding to the income inequality narrative by bringing gender and racial inequalities to the forefront of the discussion.
Through this project, she was able to not only establish the impact of monetary policy shocks on consumption patterns, but also inform the Federal Reserve Board of these distributional impacts. When discussing her research, Aina states that "promoting equal opportunity and understanding the different impacts of policies can help policymakers create policies that promote economic growth while benefitting all groups' well-being in society."
Aina's interest in analyzing inequality topics through the lens of distributional effects of macroeconomic policies came to life during her research for this paper and "ties directly into [her] plans for [her] dissertation..., a good starting point for [her] future research."
Amy Burnett Cross
PhD Candidate, Economics
Amy Burnett Cross has been selected as one of the three NBER Pre-Doctoral Fellows in the Gender in the Economy program to support her dissertation research on the influence of military policy on the sorting of women into occupations. Through this research, she is able to include her knowledge from AU’s Program on Gender Analysis in Economics as well as her understanding that by bringing more insight from conservative institutions into her research realm, she could enhance the policy space of gender equity.
As she continues her career, Amy desires to conduct research that is directly applicable to policymakers, and through her research on this project, Amy has the chance to do this in addition to engaging with economic history and begin to invest more time in the historical arc of military policy and gender dynamics.
She has three focuses for her dissertation project: (1) evaluate the impact of lifting the ban on women in combat (in 2013) on civilian occupational desegregation; (2) measure the extent to which gender desegregation of the Army (in 1977) signaled a shift in the appropriate role of civilian women at work; and (3) assess whether the structure of the U.S. draft in WWI (in 1917) contributed to the development of the male breadwinner norm.
Amy’s work aims to provide evidence that policy changes can influence social norms constraining women’s work and occupational segregation, particularly in discovering how policies regarding women’s participation in the military go on to influence gender gaps in civilian labor market outcomes. In doing so, Amy also seeks to contribute to the research of information asymmetry as a cause for occupational segregation—does military gender desegregation function as a reduction of information asymmetry?
With the support and accommodation of her peers, professors, and advisor, Mary E. Hansen, Amy has been able to focus on her academic excellence and develop close friendships and bonds during her journey at AU. In discussing her work in gender economics and the community at American University, Amy offered, “AU attracts women economists and I have found some truly excellent ones here.”