Advancement to Candidacy Presentation: “The Effects of Wealth Transfers on Descendants of the Enslaved: A Short-Run Analysis”, Micah Villarreal

Date and Time


Micah Villarreal, University of California, Santa Barbara


Micah Villarreal is a Ph.D. student in Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and a National
Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She conducts applied economic research related to labor, gender,
race and inequality. Prior to starting at UCSB, she was a programmer at Abt Associates, Inc. where she conducted
research on labor and housing policy. She was also a research assistant at J-PAL. She holds a B.A. in International
Relations & Economics from Wellesley College.

Event Details

Micah will be presenting her Advancement to Candidacy paper, “The Effects of Wealth Transfers on Descendants of the Enslaved: A Short-Run Analysis”. To access the Advancement paper, you must have an active UCSB NetID and password.

Abstract and JEL Codes

Can temporary wealth transfers narrow racial wealth disparities? Can they address other racial inequalities? In this
project, I leverage quasi-random oil discoveries on Black-owned land in the early 1900s to study how large positive
wealth shocks may have affected Black economic progress in the short and long-term. I find that wealth transfers
have positive effects in the very short term: landholders who find oil may be more geographically mobile, have
higher status occupations, invest more in children's human capital and own their homes at higher rates. Work on
longer-term outcomes is still in progress.

JEL Codes: E21, N32, D31, I38, J15.

Event will be held via Zoom

Research Areas