Molly’s research agenda focuses on understanding the determinants of personnel decisions within the context of public K-12 education in the U.S. In ongoing research, she investigates whether teacher effectiveness is an important determinant of promotion to school leadership in elementary and middle schools. Additionally, the National Science Foundation has supported her research that aims to quantify the magnitude of teacher attrition at the time of childbirth and investigate whether this type of attrition varies by teacher effectiveness.
As an applied microeconomist, she is also interested in investigating the impact of public policy on the well-being of individuals using causal inference and quasi-experimental methods. Some of her prior research has focused on how the extension of Medicaid benefits to low-income, childless adults impacted their housing outcomes and whether the provision of paid maternity leave to working mothers impacted their children's economic well-being in adulthood.
Molly has a variety of teaching assistant experience, including introductory undergraduate microeconomics, advanced undergraduate econometrics, and PhD-level microeconomics. Additionally, she is a founder and former co-chair of We Are Economics at Santa Barbara, a group aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the UCSB economics graduate student community.