Hailey Brace

MIT Department: Economics

Undergraduate Institution: Cornell University

Faculty Mentor: David Autor

Research Supervisor: Eryn Heying

Websites: LinkedInPersonal site



I am a rising junior majoring in Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. I plan to pursue my PhD in economics. I am particularly interested in behavioral economics, and hope to perform experimental research on topics such as time preference and bounded rationality. I grew up on a horse farm in upstate New York, so when I’m not in the research lab I love being outside, whether that means riding horses, riding bikes, or hiking!

2017 Research Abstract

Record Linking Boston Charter School Data

Hailey Brace, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

David Autor, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Eryn Heying, Department of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Seats at Boston charter schools are assigned by lottery. These lotteries are administered independently by each charter school, and before fall 2016 each charter school had its own lottery application. On November 1, 2016, the Boston Charter School Alliance launched an online common application that allows families to apply to several charter schools at once. To investigate the effect of this policy change on the behavior of families applying to charter schools, we need to know: 1) how many students applied to charter schools before and after the policy change 2) how many charter schools each student applied to before and after the policy change. Furthermore, we want to know the demographic characteristics of these applicants to identify different effects of the policy across groups. This project uses probabilistic record linkage to match the past three years of Boston charter school applicants (2015-2017) with their State Assigned Student Identifier (SASID), a unique identifier tied to demographic information and testing outcomes. This research can be used to help policy analysts examine the benefits and costs of altering the charter school application process in Boston and many other cities across the nation.