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Public Policy BA+MPP Student Cody Taylor Publishes Article on Unemployment Benefits

Cody TaylorThe Public Policy Program is pleased to announce that Cody Taylor, a current BA+MPP student, recently had a paper accepted for publication in an upcoming edition of Equilibria: Duke Undergraduate Economics Review. Cody’s article is a revised version of a paper he submitted for his Fall MPP course, PUBP 602 Quantitative Methods I, where he worked under the guidance of Professor Rui Pereira, a Lecturer of Economics and Public Policy at William & Mary.Professor Rui Pereira

Cody’s paper, “Extended Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: Effects on Unemployment and Labor Force Participation,” focuses the US recovery from the COVID pandemic recession and examines the impact that extended unemployment benefits had on unemployment levels and labor force participation at both national and state levels. The paper addresses the question of whether recovery from a recession is hampered by unemployment benefits “due to workers being disincentivized to rejoin the workforce.” Through examining the extended unemployment benefits offered from the CARES Act, American Rescue Plan, and President Trump’s executive order during the 2020 pandemic, Cody found mixed evidence that unemployment benefits “hampered economic recovery or were a major factor in the ‘labor shortage’ during recovery.”

Drawing inspiration from what he described as a “friend from back home who was previously employed as a waiter and was receiving significantly more money through the benefits” than his job waiting tables, Cody wanted to look beyond this anecdote to study the larger policy debate involved.  Professor Pereira helped make this paper possible with vital research skills, such training in the statistical software package Stata, and by encouraging Cody to publish his research.  

Professor Paul Manna, Director of Public Policy and the Hyman Professor of Government, remarked that the Cody’s efforts and Professor Pereira’s mentorship capture in a nutshell some of the things that make the Public Policy Program so special. “Our students have active minds, and they crave finding answers to pressing policy questions. Our faculty are motivated teachers who are experts at helping them pursue those interests. Cody’s class work and Professor Pereira’s support in helping him push his analysis to an even higher level, leading to a publication, is such a great illustration of the learning environment here in Public Policy,” Manna said. 

The Public Policy team is so proud of Cody for this accomplishment and is grateful to Professor Pereira for his terrific instruction and mentorship! You can read Cody’s full paper here.