Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Tim R. Sass

Second Advisor

Dr. James Marton

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Kreisman

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Haeil Jung


Three essays of this dissertation explore the impact of policies and shocks on education and health outcome of K-12 students and young adults.

Chapter 1 documents the gender achievement gap and gender difference in remote learning, exploiting differential exposure to remote learning induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Using longitudinal administrative data of a school district in Georgia and employing Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method, I find that exposure to disruptive peers in classroom and a lack of self-control generally have a detrimental effect on students' academic performance. Moreover, gender achievement gaps in both math and reading widen, favoring girls, over the course of the pandemic and the pandemic-induced shift to remote learning where gender-based impact differences in exposure to remote learning and proportion of disruptive peers in classroom explain considerable share of the gender gaps.

Chapter 2 estimates the impact of the universal gaming shutdown policy in South Korea. The analyses utilize 7-year panel data obtained from the Korean Children and Youth Panel Survey and employ a difference-in-differences method. Exploring heterogeneous effects of the policy based on students' pre-policy gaming pattern, I find that heavy gamers decreased their gaming hours by 26 percent of the pre-policy mean. The findings also suggest that the policy reduced the intensity of computer game usage and cellphone game usage among individuals who were heavy gamers.

Lastly, chapter 3 investigates the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion on young adults falling in a "coverage gap". Utilizing the March Current Population Survey (CPS) and employing the difference-in-differences method, the results indicate that the ACA Medicaid expansion had a positive impact on the health insurance coverage rate of poor young adults who fell within the Medicaid coverage gap. In particular, young adults in expansion states experienced a significant increase in Medicaid coverage rate and a decrease in uninsured rate compared to those in non-expansion states. Moreover, the event study results suggest a gradual increase in Medicaid coverage rates and decrease in uninsured rate among young adults in expansion states in the years following the implementation of the expansion.