Research

I am a labor and urban economist with a wide range of interests, including low-income housing, labor and housing mobility, illegal behavior, fertility and female labor force participation, and the gender earnings gap.

Click here for my complete Curriculum Vita.

Publications

Foster, Lucia, Julia Manzella, Erika McEntarfer, and Danielle H. Sandler. 2020. "Employment and Earnings for Federal Government Economists: Empirical Evidence by Gender and Race." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 110: 210-14.

Schulkind, Lisa and Danielle H. Sandler. 2019. "The Timing of Teenage Births: Estimating the Effect on High School Graduation and Later Life Outcomes," Demography, 56: 345–365 .

Sandler, Danielle H. 2017. "Externalities of public housing: The effect of public housing demolitions on local crime," Regional Science and Urban Economics, 62: 24-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2016.10.007

Phillips, David C. and Danielle H. Sandler. 2015. "Does public transit spread crime? Evidence from temporary rail station closures," Regional Science and Urban Economics, 52: 13-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2015.02.001

Sandler, Danielle H. and Ryan Sandler. 2014. "Multiple event studies in public finance and labor economics: A simulation study with applications," Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, 39(1-2): 31-57.

Working Papers

"Female Executives and the Motherhood Penalty " with Seth Murray and Matthew Staiger

Childbirth and subsequent breaks from the labor market are a primary reason why the average earnings of women is lower than that of men. This paper uses linked survey and administrative data from the United States to investigate whether the sex composition of executives at the firm, defined as the top earners, affects the earnings and employment outcomes of new mothers. We begin by documenting that (i) the male-female earnings gap is smaller in industries in which a larger share of executives are women, and (ii) the male-female earnings gap has declined more in industries that have experienced larger increases in the share of executives who are female. Despite these cross-sectional and longitudinal correlations, we find no evidence that the sex composition of the executives at the firm has a causal effect on the childbirth and motherhood penalties that impact women's earnings and employment.


"Maternal Labor Dynamics: Participation, Earnings, and Employer Changes" with Nichole Szembrot

This paper describes the labor dynamics of U.S. women after they have had their first and subsequent children. We build on the child penalty literature by showing the heterogeneity of the size and pattern of labor force participation and earnings losses by demographic characteristics of mothers and the characteristics of their employers. The analysis uses longitudinal administrative earnings data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics database combined with the Survey of Income and Program Participation survey data to identify women, their fertility timing, and employment. We find that women experience a large and persistent decrease in earnings and labor force participation after having their first child. The penalty grows over time, driven by the birth of subsequent children. Non-white mothers, unmarried mothers, and mothers with more education are more likely to return to work following the birth of their first child. Conditional on returning to the labor force, women who change employers earn more after the birth of their first child than women who return to their pre-birth employers. The probability of returning to the pre-birth employer and industry is heterogeneous over both the demographics of mothers and the characteristics of their employers.


"The Parental Gender Wage Gap in the United States" with Yoonkyung Chung, Barbara Downs, and Robert Sienkiewicz

This paper examines the parental gender earnings gap, the within-couple differences in earnings over time, before and after the birth of a child. The presence and timing of children are important components of the gender wage gap, but there is selection in both decisions. We estimate the earnings gap between male and female spouses over time, which allows us to control for this timing choice as well as other shared external earnings shifters, such as the local labor market. We use Social Security Administration Detail Earnings Records (SSA-DER) data linked to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine a panel of earnings from 1978 to 2011 for the individuals in the SIPP sample. Our main results show that the spousal earnings gap doubles between two years before the birth of the first child and the year after that child is born. After the child's first year of life the gap continues to grow for the next five years, but at a much slower rate, then tapers off and even begins to fall once the child reaches school-age.

Press: The 10-Year Baby Window That Is the Key to the Women's Pay Gap (New York Times), The 10-year baby window intensifying the gender pay gap (World Economic Forum), Having Kids Widens the Wage Gap, But These Women Are More Likely to Bounce Back (Fortune) U.S. Fertility Rate Fell to a Record Low for a Second Straight Year (New York Times), Pregnancy Discrimination is Rampant Inside America's Biggest Companies (New York Times), 10-Year Baby Window May Be Key to Women's Pay Gap (Bloomberg) Mom-Dad Pay Gap Grows After First Child (Center for Retirement Research)


"Developing a Residence Candidate File for Use With Employer-Employee Matched Data" with Matthew Graham and Mark Kutzbach

This paper describes the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) program’s ongoing efforts to use administrative records in a predictive model that describes residence locations for workers. This project was motivated by the discontinuation of a residence file produced elsewhere at the U.S. Census Bureau. The goal of the Residence Candidate File (RCF) process is to provide the LEHD Infrastructure Files with residence information that maintains currency with the changing state of administrative sources and represents uncertainty in location as a probability distribution. The discontinued file provided only a single residence per person/year, even when contributing administrative data may have contained multiple residences. This paper describes the motivation for the project, our methodology, the administrative data sources, the model estimation and validation results, and the file specifications. We find that the best prediction of the person-place model provides similar, but superior, accuracy compared with previous methods and performs well for workers in the LEHD jobs frame. We outline possibilities for further improvement in sources and modeling as well as recommendations on how to use the preference weights in downstream processing.

Works in progress

"Federal Workforce Dynamics: A Case Study of Economists by Gender" with Lucia Foster and Erika McEntarfer

"The Earnings Dynamics of Same-Sex Parents" with Barbara Downs and Lucia Foster