“Batteries, Transmission Lines, and Wind: How Multi-Regional Spatial and Temporal Power Sharing Could Work” (with Scott Holladay, Timothy Roberson, and Charles Sims)
When multiple regions share an electric grid, a multifaceted problem emerges, which has recently been complicated by the entry of renewable energy infrastructure. We create a spatial dynamic optimal control model where a basal fossil generation plan is expanded to include energy transmission, exogenous/intermittent renewable power, and battery storage.  We use this model to characterize the optimal shadow value of battery storage and find that battery charging and transmission are substitutes. Additionally, we find if the transmission constraint is binding, battery charging and transmission capacity are complements.  We then investigate how the shadow values and storage-transmission relationships change with non-dispatchable renewable energy. We then apply this model to Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) where a renewable-rich and demand-poor region (West Texas) is connected to a renewable-poor and demand-rich region (East Texas), using the psuedospectral solver of TomLab to parameterize and disentangle the ongoing issues facing the Texas ERCOT system.
Undocumented and Under Threat of Deportation: Immigrant Students in the Classroom Journal of Human Resources (2023)
I examine how undocumented immigrants respond to the threat of deportation by contrasting daily public school attendance among undocumented Hispanic, documented Hispanic, and white students. This is the first study that is able to quantify undocumented individuals’ responses to immigration enforcement. I find that undocumented Hispanic students are acutely responsive to the rollout of a state immigration-enforcement law, with large spikes in absenteeism on days when the law overcomes court challenges. Increased withdrawals from school immediately followed the law clearing federal court. These laws seem to resonate more than Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operations in the local area.
Can We Love Invasive Species to Death? Creating Efficient Markets for Invasive Species Harvests?  Environmental and Resource Economics (2023)
Bounties and rebranding are an increasingly popular tool to control or eliminate invasive species that have consumptive values. However, there is concern that such policies will undermine eradication efforts and may exacerbate the spread of these species. We develop and apply an optimal dynamic harvesting model to identify policies that correct market failures associated with commercially valuable invasive species. Competing market failures imply that welfare-enhancing policies may either encourage or discourage harvesting of the invasive species. A species’ dual role as both a pest and commodity creates a nonconvex- ity that alters incentives to eradicate or exacerbate an invasion. We apply the model to the invasion of silver carp in the United States to show that many current carp subsidies are too low and identify a threshold level of rebranding effectiveness necessary to make rebrand- ing a cost-effective policy choice compared to harvest subsidies.
Slipping Through the Cracks? The Impact of Reporting Mental Health Records to the National Firearm Background Check System  Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization(2022)
Prominent players on both sides of the contentious debate over firearm regulation agree that some people with mental illness should be prohibited from purchasing firearms. This consensus exists despite limited empirical support. We assess the impact of states reporting mental health records to the national firearm background check system on homicide and suicide. Using panel data and a difference-in-differences methodology, we find that upon adding mental health records to the national system, states experienced a 3.3–4.3% decrease in firearm-related suicides with no evidence of substitution to non-firearm suicides. Our findings suggest that mental health restrictions on gun sales do effectively reduce suicide but not homicide.