Steven Trochez

Cohort Level: Cohort - IV

Career Goal: My plans after graduation is to either enroll into a PhD program in Economics or work for the federal/state government as a data analyst, economist, statistician or financial analyst.

Expected Graduation Date: May 25, 2021

Degree: M.S Economics

Research Title: Does Pollution Increase School Absences in NYC?

Research Synopsis: This study aims to understand the impact of pollution on school’s absenteeism in New York City (NYC). It sampled 100 schools with the largest enrollment rates in NYC. The pollutions tested include PM2.5, Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Ozone (O3). The period of observation is 10 years, ranging from 2010 - 2019. The research implemented four strategies to investigate the impact of the pollutants on absenteeism in NYC. In the first strategy, I regress the dependent variable on independent and control variables. The second strategy, the lag of pollutant is generated. The idea from generating lag of pollutant is that the impact of pollutant on absenteeism may require time, which means that pollutant concentration one day, two days or three days ago can affect the absenteeism today. Likewise, in addition to lags, the third strategy also generates leads of pollutant. The idea from generating lead of pollutant is that there is a possibility that the absent level today happens because of student expectation on pollution in the next day, the next two days or the next three days. In the final strategy, each pollutant is decomposed into five groups where each group is defined by their threshold to observe the different impacts each threshold might have on the absence of the students. The idea behind this strategy is that each group of thresholds might have different impacts on the absence of students. This study was inspired by “Does Pollution Increase School Absences” by Eric A. Hanushek (2009), which examines the effects of air pollution on school absences in the state of Texas