Spencer Kersh Presented his Thesis: “Housing Externalities and Qualified Opportunity Zones: The Impact on Housing Prices of Federal Economic Development Programs” at Georgetown’s Carroll Round 20 conference. Spencer’s research studied the impact of Qualified Opportunity Zones on housing affordability across the United States. The empirical analysis combined Opportunity Insight’s “Neighborhood Characteristics by Census Tract” dataset with data from US Department of the Treasury, Zillow, the American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The study estimated a difference-in-differences model using propensity score matching. It found little evidence that suggested that the Qualified Opportunity Zone program increased housing prices in the targeted neighborhoods.
The Carroll Round offers 30-40 distinguished seniors from the most selective colleges and universities worldwide unique opportunities to present original economic research and to discuss contemporary policy issues. The conference represents a new students’ round of economic discussion and debate in light of the momentous changes that have occurred in the global economy. Conceived entirely by undergraduates and sponsored by Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, the event resembles a professional conference in form and content. It focuses primarily on participants’ submissions followed by discussions addressing leading theories in the discipline, research methodologies and their application to policy-making. Students have the chance to view policymaking and policymakers in action and interact with distinguished members of the economics community.