Laura Kawano

University of Michigan

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Michigan

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2016The Long Run Impacts of Merit Aid: Evidence from California’s Cal Grant
with Eric Bettinger, Oded Gurantz, Bruce Sacerdote: w22347
We examine the long-term impacts of California’s state-based financial aid by tracking students’ educational and labor force outcomes for up to 14 years after high school graduation. We identify program impacts by exploiting variation in eligibility rules using GPA and family income cutoffs that are ex ante unknown to applicants. Aid eligibility increases undergraduate and graduate degree completion, and for some subgroups, raises longer-run annual earnings and the likelihood that young adults reside in California. Aid eligibility has no impact on take-up of the Pell or federal tax credits for higher education. These findings suggest that the net cost of financial aid programs may frequently be overstated, though our results are too imprecise to provide exact cost-benefit estimates.

Published: American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Vol. 11, No. 1, February 2019 (Pp. 64-94)

November 2014The Economic Impact of Hurricane Katrina on its Victims: Evidence from Individual Tax Returns
with Tatyana Deryugina, Steven Levitt: w20713
Hurricane Katrina destroyed more than 200,000 homes and led to massive economic and physical dislocation. Using a panel of tax return data, we provide one of the first comprehensive analyses of the hurricane’s long-term economic impact on its victims. Katrina had large and persistent impacts on where people live; small and mostly transitory impacts on wage income, employment, total income, and marriage; and no impact on divorce or fertility. Within just a few years, Katrina victims’ incomes fully recover and even surpass that of controls from similar cities that were unaffected by the storm. The strong economic performance of Katrina victims is particularly remarkable given that the hurricane struck with essentially no warning. Our results suggest that, at least in this particular di...

Published: Deryugina, Tatyana, Laura Kawano, and Steven Levitt. 2018. "The Economic Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Its Victims: Evidence from Individual Tax Returns." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 10 (2): 202-33. DOI: 10.1257/app.20160307 citation courtesy of

October 2012The Effect of Tax Rates and Tax Bases on Corporate Tax Revenues: Estimates with New Measures of the Corporate Tax Base
with Joel Slemrod: w18440
Several recent analyses have suggested that the revenue-maximizing corporate tax rate resides in the low-30's. We challenge this result by re-examining this relationship using a new compilation of changes in corporate tax base definitions for OECD countries between 1980 and 2004. By considering tax base changes in addition to tax rate changes, we can address the estimation bias that applies to tax rates absent their consideration. We find that the relationship between corporate tax rates and corporate tax revenues is tenuous. The large behavioral response to corporate tax rates implied in the literature does not obtain when accounting for persistent differences in tax policy and business environments across countries.
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us