Peer-Reviewed Publications

"Sexual Orientation Based Health Disparities in Chile" 

with Samuel Mann and Gilbert Gonzales | PLOS One | LINK 

Numerous studies from Europe and North America have documented sexual orientation-based health disparities, but due to data limitations, very little is known about the health of sexual minorities in developing countries. This research note uses newly available nationally representative data from the Chilean Socio-Economic Characterization Survey (CASEN) to explore sexual orientation-based disparities in self-rated health, health insurance coverage, and healthcare utilization in Chile for the first time. Our findings indicate that sexual minority respondents report worse self-rated health and greater health care utilization, and that sexual minority men are more likely to have private health insurance relative to heterosexual men. These findings are important in facilitating continued efforts to reduce health disparities in Latin America. 

"Gender Identity, Labor Market Outcomes, and Socioeconomic Status: Evidence from Chile"  

Labour Economics | LINK

This paper provides the first evidence of differential labor market and socioeconomic outcomes for noncisgender individuals in Latin America using nationally representative data. Very little is known about gender diverse populations in the developing world. Recent population-based data from the 2017 Chilean National Socioeconomic Characterization Survey allows for the identification of over 1,800 noncisgender adults (i.e., individuals whose reported gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth.) I examine labor market and socioeconomic status in the context of gender identity, while controlling for relevant individual- and household-level characteristics. I find that noncisgender individuals who were assigned male at birth are less likely to be employed, and more likely to be living in a household that is multidimensionally poor when compared to otherwise similar cisgender men. Noncisgender individuals who were assigned female at birth are more likely to be employed, and report higher labor incomes, relative to otherwise similar cisgender women.

"Economic outcomes for transgender people and other gender minorities in the United States: First estimates from a nationally representative sample."

with Christopher S. Carpenter and Maxine J. Lee | Southern Economic Journal | LINK

We provide the literature's first estimates of economic outcomes for transgender people and other gender minorities in the United States using nationally representative data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey which identifies over 9,400 individuals from 2021 to 2022 who are non-cisgender (i.e., whose current gender does not align with their sex assigned at birth). We find that non-cisgender individuals are significantly less likely to be employed, have higher poverty rates, are more likely to have public health insurance, and report greater food insecurity compared to otherwise similar cisgender individuals. We also find that non-cisgender Black individuals fare significantly worse than non-cisgender white individuals. Our results demonstrate the precarious economic position of gender minority populations in America. 

"Association of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Mental Health of Gender Minority Adults in 17 States"

with Nathaniel M. Tran, Samuel Mann, Manuel G. Cortez, and Benjamin Harrell | Preventative Medicine | LINK 

We document disparities in exposure to ACEs across gender identity as well as the differential effects of ACEs on mental health across gender identity. We show that transgender individuals are more likely to be exposed to ACEs. Among populations not exposed to ACEs there is no transgender mental health disparity. The transgender mental health disparity arises due to greater exposure to ACEs and disproportionate negative impacts of ACEs.

Working Papers

"Gender Minority Status and Family Inequality in the United States" (Revise & Resubmit, Russell Sage Foundation Journal

with Christopher S. Carpenter and Maxine J. Lee

We provide the first evidence on family outcomes of transgender and other gender minority populations in the United States using over 15,000 non-cisgender adults in the Census Bureau’s 2020-2022 Household Pulse, the only nationally representative survey in the US with information on sex at birth and current gender. These data indicate that non-cisgender individuals are significantly less likely to be married and more likely to be widowed than their cisgender counterparts. These differences are smaller but remain statistically significant when we control for demographic characteristics, most notably the fact that non-cisgender individuals are younger and less likely to be heterosexual than cisgender people. Non-cisgender individuals are also significantly less likely than otherwise similar cisgender women to have children in the household. Interestingly, non-cisgender individuals live in households with significantly more adults than otherwise similar cisgender adults. These patterns are largely replicated in the 35 states that have asked about transgender status in the Centers for Disease Control’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Our results provide important benchmarks for future work examining family structures of gender minority populations in the US and highlight the importance of adding gender identity questions to surveys that include detailed household rosters.

"Infant Health and Aerial Fumigation of Illicit Crops in Colombia"

From 1994 to 2015, the Colombian and U.S. governments jointly pursued a campaign of aerial fumigation of illicit crops using glyohposate, a carcinogenic herbicide, with the intention of disrupting the global drug trade. Citing health and environmental concerns, Colombia ended all aerial fumigation efforts with a country-wide ban in 2015. I exploit geographic and temporal variation in aerial fumigation of coca crops in Colombia to analyze the effects of in-utero exposure to dangerous chemicals on infant health using a difference-in-differences approach. For birth weight, gestational age, number of births, and sex ratio, I demonstrate that the effect is statistically indistinguishable from zero. I document that the aerial fumigation ban may be related to migration and birth composition changes.

Other Work in Progress

"Abortion Access and Violence" with Graham Gardner, Samuel Mann, and Caitlin Myers

"Financial Inclusion in Papua New Guinea" with Martin H. Davies