Maria Fitzpatrick, Cornell University

Assistant Professor Ithaca, New York mdf98@cornell.edu Office: (607) 255-1272

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Bio/Research

In her research, Dr. Fitzpatrick focuses on three broad themes:

Early childhood education policies: Recent decades have seen increased interest in early childhood education and care programs as a way to promote children's development and family well-being. This increased interest has l...


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Bio/Research

In her research, Dr. Fitzpatrick focuses on three broad themes:

Early childhood education policies: Recent decades have seen increased interest in early childhood education and care programs as a way to promote children's development and family well-being. This increased interest has led to increased government intervention of various forms, from regulation to government provision. Fitzpatrick's work has examined the effects of government provision of early childhood education (namely universal pre-k) on children's long-term academic achievement and family decision making about child care use and parental labor supply. More recently, Fitzpatrick and her colleagues are examining the effects of both government provision in and regulation of the early childhood care industry on the supply side (workers and firms) of the industry.

Higher education: Human capital investment provides protection against labor market risk and uncertainty. Designing and implementing efficient polciies for encouraging and subsidizing postsecondary enrollment and attainment is crucial for effectively improving workforce qualtiy. With colleagues, Fitzpatrick has examined the efficiency and long run effects of merit aid programs, which offer scholarships for in-state postsecondary attandence.

Teacher labor markets: The quality of children's schooling experiences has been closely linked to the quality of the individuals students receive as teachers. Many local, state and federal policies are putting increased focus towards improving schools while the recent downturn has put the fiscal decisions of the public sector under close scrutiny. Understanding how teachers make decisions about where to work and how long to work, particularly in response to their government provided wages and benefits, is therefore an imperative. Fitzpatrick's work has focused on whether public school employees value their retirement benefits at the same level it costs taxpayers to provide them. She is investigating how incentives between state and local governments that arise implicitly in the structure of teacher compensation affect the pattern of teacher wages. With colleagues, she has also examined how responsive teachers are to retirement incentives and what effect the removal of senior teachers has on children's academic achievement.


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