APPAM Fall Conference Goes Online

November 17, 2020

The 42nd annual fall APPAM Research Conference may have been virtual, but that didn't stop Pardee RAND students, alumni, and faculty (and RAND researchers) from having a real presence.

The Multiplier Effect

Several panels and conference events included multiple Pardee RAND and RAND participants — and several participants appeared on multiple panels.

Prof. Matt Baird presented his research at a Friday panel

A pre-conference student resources panel on Tuesday featured Rachel M. Perera (cohort '16) as moderator. Confronting Structural Racism in Policy Research also included Prof. Nancy Lopez and RAND researcher Jhacova Williams were speakers. (Perera also presented her own paper, "Examining Federal Investigations of Racial Discrimination in School Discipline," at the Thursday panel Criminal Justice and School Discipline. Additionally, Lopez was a speaker in the Super Session Policy Analysis and Racial Justice: Are New Approaches Needed?.)

On Wednesday, the panel Assessing the Long-Term Implications of Policies to Target Obesity included two students and a RAND researcher. PhuongGiang Nguyen (cohort '14) presented "Predicting Long-Term Impact of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes on Population Health: A Microsimulation Approach"; Rushil Zutshi (cohort '17) presented "Microsimulation of Obesity Interventions on Cardiometabolic Health Disparities in the United States" (coauthored by PhuongGiang); and researcher Tadeja Gracner presented "The Long-Term Value of Bariatric Surgery Interventions for American Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus."

Also on Wednesday, the panel Cannabis Regulation and Consequences featured alum Greg Midgette (cohort '09), presenting "Understanding the Effect of Recreational Cannabis Outlets on Neighborhood Crime." Prof. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula presented "Impact of Marijuana Legalization on Psychosis Related Healthcare Encounters," and Prof. Rosanna Smart presented "Sales Limits for Recreational Cannabis Use in U.S. States."

(Midgette and Pacula also teamed up as discussants on Friday for the panel Evaluating the Impact of Marijuana Liberalization Laws and Policies in the United States on the Criminal Justice System; Smart presented "Changes in Firearm Mortality Following the Implementation of State Laws Regulating Firearm Access and Use" in the Friday panel Policy Analysis in Areas with Limited Data and chaired the panel The Changing Face of the Opioid Problem and Responses.)

Alum Jodi Liu (cohort '12) served as discussant for the Wednesday panel Maintaining Enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplaces: Lessons Learned from the States and the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace. She presented "Public Options for Individual Health Insurance: Assessing the Effects of Four Public Option Alternatives" in the Thursday panel State Options to Tighten or Expand Coverage Eligibility under the ACA.

Prof. Lynn Karoly appeared as a speaker at the Wednesday roundtable Is There a Path to Reliable Benefit-Cost Analysis in Education? and on Thursday presented her paper "Estimating the Full Cost of Quality Pre-K" on the panel Benefits and Costs of Early Childhood Education.

Two faculty members participated in Wednesday's panel The Importance of Evaluating Teacher Supports and Classroom Quality If Early Childhood: Prof. Jill S. Cannon chaired the panel, and Prof. Celia J. Gomez presented "Do Early Care and Education Programs Improve When Enrolled in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems? Longitudinal Evidence from One System."

On Thursday, alum Etienne Rosas (cohort '14) presented "Assessing the Impact of Municipal Government Capacity on Damages and Recovery following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico" as part of the panel Understanding Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Government Responses to Extreme Events; RAND researcher Patrick Roberts served as the panel's chair.

Additionally, alum Erin Duffy (cohort '15) was the discussant for the panel Employers As Purchasers of Health Benefits; RAND researcher Christopher Whaley was the panel organizer and also presented his paper, "Where Are Employer-Sponsored Health Plans on the Spectrum of Value-Based Payment for Hospital Care?"

(Duffy also presented her own paper, "Commercial and Medicare Advantage Payment for Anesthesiology Services," at the Friday panel Medicare Advantage and Medicare Payment Policy; Whaley presented "The Effects of Hospital-Physician Integration on Referral Patterns for Diagnostic Tests and Procedures" at the Thursday panel Does Health Care Consolidation Matter? Assessing the Effects and Examining Emerging Models and was discussant for the Friday panel Behavioral Responses to Price and Quality Transparency Initiatives.)

Prof. Philip Armour presented "Exploring the Health and Economic Status of Older Veterans with the Health and Retirement Study Matched to Veterans Health Administration Healthcare Records"—which was coauthored by student Jamie Ryan (cohort '17)—in the panel Panel: Health and Economic Outcomes of Older Americans, and RAND researcher Stephanie Rennane was the panel's discussant.

Prof. Matthew D. Baird served as discussant for the panel Uncle Sam Wants You!: Using Military Data to Study Policy Issues on Thursday and presented "Sector-Specific Adult Education for Screened Disadvantaged Workers: RCT Evidence on Employment, Earnings and Industry" at the panel Unpacking Mixed and Unexpected Impacts of Workforce Exposure and Development Programs: Evidence from Three Randomized Controlled Trials on Friday.

Finally, the panel Policy Causes and Consequences of Substance Use: Timely Evidence on Opioid and Marijuana Use featured two professors: David Powell presented "Has the Opioid Crisis Reduced Labor Supply?" and Rosalie Liccardo Pacula presented "Impact of Recreational Marijuana Legalization on Opioid Use in Colorado."

More Papers and Panel Participants


Alum Neeraj Sood (cohort '99) presented "The Association between Drug Rebates and List Prices" at the panel Drug Rebates and Drug Prices: New Research.

Alum Margaret E. Blume-Kohout (cohort '04) presented "Competing Risks in Undergraduate STEM Fields Retention & Completion" at the panel STEM Education and Publication Outcomes.

Prof. Drew Anderson presented "Equity and Allocation of Financial Aid in New Jersey" on the panel Economic Impacts of College Opportunities.

RAND researcher Jeffrey Wenger was the discussant for the panel Managing Improper Payments in Complex Federal Programs.


Alum Youngbok Ryu (cohort '11) presented "Examining the Operational and Environmental Performance of Global Semiconductor Firms" at the panel Connections between Firms, Industries, and Public Policy for Sustainable Energy Technology and Innovation.

Prof. Andrew McEachin, presenting "Trading Places: Reassignment and Desegregation in Wake County Public Schools"—coauthored by student Rachel Perera—on the panel Threats to Racial and Socioeconomic Diversity in Contemporary Schools.

Prof. Nelson Lim was a speaker in the Equity and Inclusion session, Navigating the Job Market as an Underrepresented Group.

Prof. Edward Okeke chaired the panel International Approaches to Expanding Health Care Access.

Prof. Sarah Hunter presented "Los Angeles County Office of Diversion and Reentry's Supportive Housing Program" on the panel Impacts of Criminal Prosecution and Diversion.

RAND researcher Christine Mulhern presented "Rural and Urban Gaps in Education: Evidence on Their Magnitudes and Explanatory Factors" on the panel The Role of Geography in College Choice and Success: Gaps and Solutions.

RAND researcher Jirka Taylor presented "Can (and how can) We Learn from Other Complex Global Problems for Antimicrobial Policy? a Comparative Study Combining Historical and Foresight Approaches" on the panel The Political Development of Public Policy.

RAND researcher Fatih Unlu presented "District-level Effects of Early College High Schools in North Carolina" on the panel Panel: High School Experiences and Student Outcomes.


Alum Marlon Graf was the discussant on a Friday panel

Alum Melody Harvey (cohort '12) presented "Law and Order? Associations between Payday Lending Legislation and AFS Use By Degree of Enforcement" at the panel Liquidity Constraints and the Well-Being of Low-Income Households.

Alum Ashley Muchow (cohort '13) was discussant for the panel Immigrants & Labor Markets Across Contexts.

Alum Richard Bowman (cohort '06) served as moderator for the Super Session Supporting School District Capacity to Participate in Research across the Policy Lifecycle.

Alum Diana Epstein (cohort '05) was the organizer and moderator of the roundtable Evidence Act Implementation: What Have We Done, What Are We Learning, and What Challenges Remain.

Alum Marlon Graf (cohort '12) was a discussant for the panel Innovation in Internet Technology and Policy.

RAND researcher Rebecca Herman acted as discussant for the panel Principal Preparation, Compensation, and Leadership.

RAND researcher Mahshid Abir chaired the panel Policy and Consumer Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

RAND researcher Heather Schwartz presented "Social and Emotional Learning in Schools and out-of-School-Time Programs: Implementation Challenges and Successes" on the panel Supporting Social and Emotional Learning Outcomes for Students.

Papers Presented by Coauthors

Research by Pardee RANDites was also represented in absentia, as their coauthors presented papers on a range of panels.

"The Kids on the Bus: The Academic Consequences of Diversity-Driven School Reassignments," coauthored by student Rachel Perera (cohort '16) and Prof. Andrew McEachin, was presented in the panel The Effects of Student Assignment Policies That Change the Characteristics of Students' Peers.

"Smog at the Downstream: Abatement Cost of Delay in Paddy Cultivation at the Upstream," coauthored by alum Arnab Mukherji (cohort '01), was presented in the panel Environmental Harms and Spillovers.

"County Increases in Foster Care Placement Is Associated with Diagnoses of Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal," coauthored by alum Bradley Stein (cohort '97) and Prof. Rosanna Smart, and "Prenatal Substance Use Policies and Social Disparities in Neonatal Drug Withdrawal Syndrome," coauthored by alum Yuhua Bao (cohort '99), were both presented in the panel The Role of Child Maltreatment Prevention Services in Reducing Risk: Evidence from Substance Use Approaches and Beyond.

"Noticeable Changes or Background Noise? Prisoners’ Perceptions of Getting Drug Tested", coauthored by alum Greg Midgette (cohort '09), was presented in the panel Perception Formation and Subsequent Impacts on Crime & Drug Use: Examining the Effectiveness of Three Policy Interventions.

—Monica Hertzman