Professor Brown led us through the chief points in Currie’s paper “Inequality at Birth” (Currie 2011).
Then we talked about how Currie goes about establishing causality. The study that used the E-ZPass was particularly ingenious (Currie 2011, 5). Prof. Brown used this as an occasion to talk about thesis projects and how they might use similar methods.
Finally, I pointed out some points in the paper that I found surprising. They include:
the rat studies that seem to show that low birthweight can persist over several generations, even if the second, third, etc. are properly fed (Currie 2011, 9).
the suggestion the person-based programs probably make more sense than place-based ones (Currie 2011, 17). In other words, when forced to choose between cleaning up a polluted area or directing services to the people who have been affected by living in a polluted area, it probably makes more sense to do the latter.
the differences between Black mothers with less than a high school education and Hispanic mothers with less than a high school education in table 1 (Currie 2011, 2).
We had our normal vigorous discussion, but your note keeper was tired and so he does not remember who said what. This would not be a problem if he had taken notes to help him remember but he did not do that either. In short, he has brought shame upon himself and will perform the appropriate acts of contrition before Thursday.
Currie, Janet. 2011. “Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences.” American Economic Review 101 (3): 1–22.