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David Arnold

Welcome Assistant Teaching Professor, David Arnold

David Arnold joins us from Princeton University where he received his doctorate this year. While there, he received multiple graduate student fellowships, including the Woodrow Wilson Scholars Fellowship as well as the Richard A. Lester Award. It is a return to the San Diego area for David – he originally hails from Carlsbad a little north of the university. David is a labor economist, with interests in Industrial Organization.

He joins us having already published an interesting and extremely relevant paper in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, one of the premier journals of our field. This paper, “Racial Bias in Bail Decisions” joint with Will Dobbie (Harvard KSG) and Crystal Yang (Harvard Law), analyzes racial bias in the context of decisions made regarding bail. The authors use instrumental variables methods to circumvent the confounding effects and examine the difference between white and black defendants when the defendants are in the vicinity of being able to be released. They also allow for judge specific effects. Their research finds that disparities remain and there appears to be racial bias in these decisions. David has extended this work in another paper (also with Dobbie and Peter Hull (U. Chicago) shows that the racial disparities cannot be explained well by unobserved differences in misconduct potential, leaving most of the explanation to racial bias.

His other work in labor economics focusses more on the impacts on workers due to privatization of state owned enterprises and also impacts of employment legislation. At UCSD David will be taking a leading role in helping to run our undergraduate program, a big responsibility in a department with over 2000 majors.