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Dissertation and Thesis Presentations

Candidates who are in the process of defending their doctoral dissertation or master's thesis may submit their information to the Office of Graduate Studies for posting to this page. Submissions intended for this page should be sent at least two weeks before the date of the defense.

Dissertation Presentation

Student Name: Stephan Lefebvre
Graduate Level: PhD
Field of Study: Economics
Committee Chair: Mary Eschelbach Hansen
Committee Members: Natalia Radchenko, Paul Sullivan, and Bradley Hardy
Date of Presentation: July 16, 2020
Time of Presentation: 10 AM
Title of Dissertation: Three Essays on Wealth and Racial Inequality
Presentation Link:
Meeting ID: 894 1880 2207
Password: 9BudvZ

Racial inequality and wealth are inextricably linked. Wealth gaps are an important dimension of racial inequality. In addition, wealth itself plays a causal role in other dimensions of inequality, including unequal labor market and education outcomes. In the first essay, I estimate the effect of access to extended family wealth on college enrollment and I find a positive relationship. This is important for higher education policies that aim to reduce inequality but fail to account for race and wealth. In the second essay, I estimate the effect of Medicaid on individual assets. Whereas economic theory in the literature predicts a negative effect, I develop a framework that shows how public insurance can increase savings and I present empirical evidence against a negative effect. Finally, the third essay develops an analytical framework called Latinx stratification economics by reviewing the main economic theories applied to Latinxs and demonstrating how stratification economics and Latinx studies may be used to critique the dominant theories.