Member of the Month

~August~

Lara Shore-Sheppard Ph.D.
Professor of Economics at
Williams College

For the month of August we are honored to have Lara Shore-Sheppard as our Member of the Month. Dr. Shore-Sheppard is a recent attendee of our past conference in Lisbon, Portugal and being based in the United States she enjoys the fact that through our conferences she is able to interact with other scholars from around the globe. Dr. Shore-Sheppard is the Chair of the Political Economy Program and Professor of Economics at Williams College, and she is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Currently, her research has focused on assessing the United States’ Affordable Care Act and its impact on health insurance coverage, labor market outcomes, and participation in other US social programs. She has published a number of peer-reviewed articles on the impact of Medicaid expansions on health insurance coverage, focusing particularly on low-income children.

 

Why did you become a member of the International Atlantic Economic Society?:

My research is primarily US-focused, so I was looking for an opportunity to meet and interact with economists working in and on other countries.

What do you find most enjoyable about your membership?:

I attended the Lisbon conference and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The papers and talks I heard were very interesting, and Lisbon was a fantastic city to visit.

Have you held any notable positions within the IAES, (Officer, Board of Editors, Program Committee, etc.) if so, when?:

No, I have not held any positions.

What types of projects/research are you working on and what inspired/motivated you to pursue that interest?:

I am working on assessing the United States’ Affordable Care Act and its impact on health insurance coverage, labor market outcomes, and participation in other US social programs.  In addition, I am examining the interaction between a variety of US safety net programs and mental health among low-income parents.  I have worked on questions involving the social safety net for many years, as I am interested in how such programs function and what their impacts are, both intended and unintended.  I focus on programs intended to help children and their families since these programs can have important long-run impacts.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering entering your line of work/field of study?:

In my work I have tried to move past simple correlations to identify behavioral parameters and effects of specific programs and their features on individuals.  This work requires a willingness to be meticulous in understanding how a social program functions and to become very familiar with program details, so I would suggest spending time learning about the programs one is thinking about examining in order to discover what interesting questions can be answered and how to answer them accurately.  Strong econometric skills are essential as well to be able to select and implement a method that will produce compelling estimates of the parameters of interest.  Also, sometimes clean identification or precise estimates may be difficult to obtain, and it is important to acknowledge the limitations of what one has been able to learn.  Finally, it is important to take the time to write clearly so that others can learn from what you have done.

Favorite hobby:

I enjoy playing sports, including figure skating, swimming, cycling, and running.

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